ISPAM Working Group to Begin Standards Development Activities for Gluten in Oats

On March 14, 2017, at the AOAC Mid-Year Meeting, the International Stakeholder Panel on Alternative Methods (ISPAM) will introduce and begin standards development activities by initiating the ISPAM Working Group on Gluten in Oats. The project is supported by General Mills, Grain Millers Inc., Quaker Oats, Neogen, R-Biopharm, Romer Labs, and Elution Technologies through the AOAC working group initiative.

Gluten was identified as a priority in need of standards development by the ISPAM Food Allergen Assays Advisory Panel on June 15, 2016. Although gluten is not an allergen, the advisory panel agreed that it is a significant analytical problem related to food allergens and voted to include gluten as a priority analyte. The project focuses on rapid assays.

Standards and methods are needed for gluten measurement specific to oats and oat products. Companies want to market gluten-free (GF) oat products. The existing Official MethodSM 2012.01 works well but is limited in scope to corn and rice products.

On January 18, 2017, sponsors of the Working Group on Gluten in Oats developed a draft scope of work, which will be presented to the working group at the AOAC Mid-Year Meeting. They agreed that quantitative methods based on ELISA technology are needed for measurement of gluten in groats (after hulling); rolled oats; oat flour; extruded, cooked, finished product; and oat bran.

During the AOAC Mid-Year Meeting, the working group will develop a draft fitness-for-purpose statement, which will be reviewed for possible endorsement by ISPAM. Once endorsed, the fitness-for-purpose will be used by the working group to begin developing draft SMPRs.

The working group will continue its work by teleconference, and draft SMPRs will be posted on the AOAC website for an open comment period. It is anticipated that the draft SMPR will be reviewed for possible approval by ISPAM in September 2017, in conjunction with the AOAC Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

For more information or to participate, visit www.aoac.org > Standards Development > International Stakeholder Panel on Alternative Methods or contact Krystyna McIver, executive for scientific business development, at kmciver@aoac.org. Full coverage will appear in the March/April 2017 issue of Inside Laboratory Management.