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Crustaceans belong to the arthropods and include a variety of different animals, like shrimps, prawns, lobsters, crabs or crayfish.Crustaceans are among the most commonly consumed seafood, but also represent an important group of food allergens. Even very low amounts of crustacean proteins can trigger severe allergic reactions, with potentially fatal outcomes.
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The major allergen in all crustaceans is the muscle protein tropomyosin. In many cases, the allergy appears not during childhood, but at later stages in life. Hence, the chance of outgrowing a crustacea allergy is very small.
Finned fish and crustacean shellfish do not come from related families, so being allergic to one does not necessarily mean that an allergic individual must avoid both.
Crustaceans are among the so called “Big 8” food allergens that fall under the labeling requirements of the U.S. FDA – FALCPA (2004). They are furthermore on the list of priority allergens according to Regulation (EU) No 1169/201 in Europe. But the presence of crustacean proteins in foodstuffs must be clearly labeled by law also in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and many other countries.
The Romer Labs crustacea test kit portfolio covers ELISA and LFD methods for the quantitative and qualitative analysis of crustacean proteins in environmental samples, rinse waters and finished food products.
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