LCMSMS for Food Allergens – Development of LCMSMS methods for the determination of low levels of food allergens

Food allergy is an important issue within food safety because of the hazards for affected persons and the considerable impact on the food industry due to hygiene requirements and legal regulations. Consumer protection and law enforcement require suitable analytical techniques for the detection of allergens in foods. Immunological methods are currently preferred; however, confirmatory alternatives are needed. The determination of allergenic proteins by liquid chromatography (LC) and mass spectrometry (MS) has greatly advanced in recent years and gel-free allergenomics is developing into a routinely used application for the identification and quantitation of food allergens.

Aim of the project “LCMSMS for Food Allergens” was to establish methods for the sample preparation and analysis of foodborne allergens by LCMSMS. Through cooperation with well-established proteomics laboratories at the University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA (IC42) and the University of Oslo, Norway (Proteomics Laboratory), including several study visits, we have developed workflows for untargeted and targeted proteomics and performed discovery and quantitative analysis for a number of allergens using nanoLC – high resolution MS or LC-triple quadrupole MS instruments.

The workflows are generally applicable for a large variety of proteins, and proteomic analyses have recently been used for Anisakis simplex proteins, fish skin mucus (projects Promofish; Gyrochloramine), cell cultures and recombinant proteins (NewMHCI).

The project was supported by a grant (NFR180701) from the Norwegian Research Council.


  • Fæste CK, Jonscher KR, Sit L, Klawitter J, Løvberg KE, Moen LH (2010). Differentiating cross-reacting allergens in the immunological analysis of celery (Apium graveolens) by mass spectrometry. J. AOAC Int. 93:451-461.
  • Fæste CK, Christians U, Egaas E, Jonscher KR (2010). Characterization of potential allergens in fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) using patient sera and MS-based proteomic analysis. J. Proteomics 73:1321-1333.
  • Fæste CK, Rønning HT, Christians U, Granum PE (2011). Liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry in food allergen detection. J Food Prot 74:316-345.
  • Ivanova L, Egge-Jacobsen WM, Solhaug A, Thoen E, Fæste CK (2012). Lysosomes as a possible target of Enniatin B-induced toxicity in Caco-2 cells. Chem. Res. Toxicol. 25:1662-74.
  • Fæste CK, Jonscher KR, Dooper MMBW, Egge-Jacobsen WM, Moen A, Daschner A, Egaas E, Christians U (2014). Characterization of potential novel allergens in the fish parasite Anisakis simplex.  EuPa Open Proteomics J. 4:140-155.
  • Fæste CK, Plassen C, Løvberg KE, Moen A, Egaas E (2015). Detection of proteins from the fish parasite Anisakis simplex in Norwegian farmed salmon and processed fish products. Food Analyt Meth. 8:1390-1402.
  • Fæste CK, Moen A, Schniedewind B, Anonsen JH, Klawitter J, Christians U (2016). Development of a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantitation of Anisakis simplex proteins in food products. J Chromatogr A 1432:58-72.
  • Fæste CK, Moen A, Tartor H, Kristoffersen AB, Dhanasiri AKS, Anonsen JH, Furmanek T, Grove S (2020). Proteomic profiling of salmon skin mucus for the comparison of sampling methods. J Chromatogr B 1138:121965-121976.
  • Holzhauser T, Hindley JP, O’Connor G, Chan C-H, Costa J, Fæste CK, Hirst B, Johnson P, Lambertini F, Marsaux CFM, Robert M-C, Röder M, Ronsmans S, Timmermans F, Bugyi Z, Tömösközi S, Zazzeroni F, Flanagan S (2020). Are current analytical methods suitable to verify VITAL® 2.0 Allergen Reference doses? – Report from an ILSI Europe Food Allergy Task Force Expert Group. Food Chem Toxicol (under writing)


  • Fæste CK, Dooper MMBW,  Daschner A, Egge-Jacobsen W, Egaas E. Identification of novel allergens in the fish parasite Anisakis simplex. XXII World Allergy Congress; 4.-8.12., 2011, Cancun, Mexico.
  • Fæste CK, Dooper MMBW, Egge-Jacobsen WM, Daschner A, Egaas E, Jonscher KR, Christians U. Potential new allergens of the fish parasite Anisakis simplex. 126th AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition. 30.9.-3.10. 2012. Las Vegas, NV, USA.
  • Fæste CK, Moen A, Egaas E, Van Do T. Characterization of potential allergens in brine shrimp (Artemia salina). EuroFoodChem 2013, 7.5.-10.5.2013, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Tator H, Ivanova L, Fæste CK, Uhlig S, Monjane AL, Grove S (2019). Skin mucus from Atlantic salmon – an interdisciplinary study of mucus and mucus sampling methods. Frisk Fisk. 7.-9.2.2019, Tromsø, Norway.
  • Fæste CK, Johny A, Anonsen JH, Plassen C, Klawitter J, Van Do T, Moen A, Christians U (2019). Can gluten peptides be transferred from feed to fish? 133th AOAC International Annual Meeting and Exposition, 6.-12.9.2019, Denver, USA.


  • Fæste CK. Mass spectrometry as confirmatory technique in food allergen detection. IXth International Conference on AgriFood Antibodies (ICAFA), 10.-13. September 2007. Vettre, Norway.
  • Fæste CK. Peptide-based LC-MS/MS methods for the detection of multi-allergens. 126th AOAC Annual Meeting and Exposition. 30.9.-3.10. 2012. Las Vegas, NV, USA.
  • Fæste CK. Determination of potential novel food allergens by profiling sera and sources. 1st ISPROF, 2.-4.9.2013. Caparica, Portugal.
  • Faeste CK. Development of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry methods for the quantitation of Anisakis simplex proteins in fish. Current Trends in Mass Spectrometry. 20.-22.7.2016, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • Fæste CK. Current status of food allergens analysis by LC-MS/MS. 17th meeting of CEN/TC 275/WG 12 “Food allergens”. 14.11.2018, Braunschweig, Germany