Food allergies are a type I hypersensitivity immune responses that can be life threatening. While exposure therapy and urgent care interventions can limit the damage of an allergic episode, there is currently no cure for food hypersensitivities. Many patients will experience an accidental exposure to a known allergen due to the complexity of food preparation methods in the modern diet. One method of avoidance is to monitor food with point of care (POC) biosensors that can detect known allergens. These detectors are categorized according to their sensor mechanism, such as optical, electromechanical, and electrochemical biosensors. More innovations that are recent combine biosensors with genosensors and cell assays. Major challenges to allergen monitoring include the introduction of new allergens into modern diets, the rising incidence hypersensitivities, lack of clinical understanding of the types and causes of food allergies, limited commercial availability of biosensors, and the lack of international standards or agreement on threshold detection levels. Public health leaders are taking on these challenges, and their efforts will reduce the incidence of preventable exposures and improve overall food safety management.
Neethirajan, S., Weng, X., Tah, A., Cordero, J. O., & Ragavan, K. V. (2018, April 1). Nano-biosensor platforms for detecting food allergens – New trends. Sensing and Bio-Sensing Research. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbsr.2018.02.005