A sensitive sandwich ELISA for the detection of trace amounts of cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) nut in foods

Yanhong Wei, Shridhar K. Sathe, Suzanne S Teuber, Kenneth H. Roux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Trace amounts of cashew nut protein can provoke severe allergic reactions in sensitive patients. Consequently, commercial food processors and regulatory agencies must be vigilant to prevent cashew nut cross-contamination among foods and ensure proper labeling. Toward this end, we have developed a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent (ELISA) to detect the predominant cashew protein fraction (anacardein or cashew major protein, CMP) that can be extracted in aqueous buffer from food matrixes. Protein G-purified goat antiwhole cashew extract IgG and rabbit anti-CMP IgG were used as capture and secondary antibodies, respectively. Immunoadsorption against several nut and seed proteins significantly minimized the inherent cross-reactivity of these reagents. Food samples spiked with cashew flour and CMP were extracted and tested in a sandwich ELISA where standard curves were based on reactivity with CMP. The assay was optimized to detect as little as 20 ng/mL (0.02 ppm) of CMP and was successfully used to quantify CMP, and thus cashew, in various food matrixes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3215-3221
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 21 2003


  • Allergen
  • Anacardein
  • Anacardium occidentale
  • Cashew
  • CMP
  • Food allergy
  • Globulin
  • Immunoassay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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