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Gluten sensitivity affects nearly 1 of the population in the United States and Europe. To help these consumers avoid the health issues that result from gluten consumption, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is attempting to establish a definition and testing protocol for gluten-free
foods. Establishing this protocol depends on accurate tests that can detect and quantitate gluten. There are multiple immunoassays available for the quantitation of gluten, and most are based on one of two antibodies. These antibodies, known as the Skerritt and R5 antibodies, were examined
through the use of four commercial test kits for their ability to detect the two main components of gluten, known as gliadin and glutenin, in wheat. Commercial tests based on the Skerritt and R5 antibodies demonstrated differing affinities for gliadin and glutenin, with the Skerritt-based
tests recognizing glutenins more strongly, and the R5 tests recognizing gliadins more strongly. Analysis of 40 processed food samples of unknown gluten content revealed differences in gluten detection and quantitation between the Skerritt-based and R5-based assays. These discrepancies in test
results may be the result of the antibody affinity differences between the Skerritt- and R5-based tests, the solubility differences between gliadins and glutenins, or a combination of these and other factors.
The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.