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Survey for Peanut Allergen Device

7 replies [Last post]
By Chris LaPlaca on Wed, 03-14-07, 12:30

I was contacted by a student at Boston University who is involved in research and development of a peanut-allergen detecting device that would be portable (on a keychain). They are conducting a short survey, and are looking for participants. The survey took me about 3 minutes. Here is the url:


[This message has been edited by Chris LaPlaca (edited March 14, 2007).]

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By PurpleCat on Wed, 03-14-07, 15:59

Easy and quick survey - thanks Chris!

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By Corvallis Mom on Wed, 03-14-07, 17:56

Unfortunately, there was no way to add general comments.

There are several concerns that [i]I[/i] personally have about such a device...

one-- that the concentration of protein in various portions of a food sample may well be non-homogenous. Sample homogeneity is probably an insurmountable problem. FAARP can't even do anything about this one.

two-- that for some people (like my DD) this device would need to reliably detect in the sub ppm range.... or lower. And it would need to do so in solids, liquids and emulsions.

What kind of detection limit will it have? Is it matrix dependent? (That is, will detection limits be lower in one type of food than another?)

Have they considered the suspected truth that there are PA persons for whom no current detection method has a sufficiently low LOD? (This is the rationale for Keebler's 'may contain' labels, BTW)

And another thing... how many different proteins can be included in a single test device? There are multiple allergenic seed storage proteins in PN-- not everyone is allergic to the 'usual' complement of them, either.

They would need to understand that for someone to actually use such a device, they are literally placing their LIFE in the hands of a small diagnostic instrument. This is not like a blood glucose test strip. The tolerances here are much smaller than that.

Can they really assume product liability for accuracy? If they can't, nobody in their right mind will use it. But if they do,

This is something that DH and I have both discussed at great length... since DH is a materials chemist working as an engineer and I am a bioanalytical chemist playing pharmacologist, [i]and[/i] we have an exquisitely sensitive PA daughter.... let's just say--[b]it comes up.[/b]

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By Chris LaPlaca on Wed, 03-14-07, 18:35

Great points, Corvallis Mom. I informed the students that I would be posting on peanutallergy.com, so they should be checking the board. I'm also going to forward your response directly.

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By jtolpin on Wed, 03-14-07, 18:57

(ditto ditto)

Even if it produced reliable results, I wouldnt buy it... even if insurance covered it.

Why? Doesnt fit needs.


[b]* Beyond Obsessed * [/b]

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By Peg541 on Wed, 03-14-07, 19:51

Also how can this detect the peanut accidentally dropped into your food during processing. Mostly restaurant food. It's better to not patronize restaurants that have peanut anything on their menu.


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By LindyLovesA on Thu, 03-15-07, 01:09

Well written survey. Number one thing for me is accuracy... if it could do that I would be the first in line regardless of cost.

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By lynski on Tue, 01-25-11, 16:57

have a similar idea but someone in wellesly, mass. has already created and patented this idea. Even went to Davison Inventors in Pgh.,Pa. with this idea and they didn't think this product had been developed yet. How is that so if the person in Mass. has it already patented?

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