Prepared Foods of March 14, 2005 enewsletter

According to a study from the U.S., "Anti-carbohydrate antibodies with specificities for polysaccharide gums were isolated from the serum of rabbits that were immunized with a solution of the gums and Freund's complete adjuvant. The primary objective was to test an immunological method for the detection of the polysaccharide gums as additives to processed foods. Analysis involved the extraction of food with phosphate buffer and the testing of the extract for a reaction with anti-gum antibodies by the agar diffusion method."

"Reaction by a specific gum with the homologous antibodies establishes the presence of the guar in the food," said John H. Pazur and Nan-Qian Li at Pennsylvania State University. "The method is a novel application of antibodies. The antibody method is highly specific for a guar and thus possesses advantages over other methods of analysis for polysaccharide gums as additives in processed foods."

Pazur and Li published the results of their research in Food Additives and Contaminants (“Application of Polysaccharide Antibodies for the Identification of Gum Additives in Processed Foods.” Food Addit Contam, 2004;21(11):1027-1034).

For additional information, contact John H. Pazur, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University; 108 Althouse Laboratory; University Park, PA 16802.