Launch Project

Disruptive Nano Photonics-based biosensing platform for simultaneous analysis of multiple allergens in food industry

A Fast-Track-to-Innovation project funded by the European Commission

Topic:  EIC-FTI-2018-2020 Project ID: 958855

Food allergies affect over 17M people in Europe and increasing at a 2 digit prevalence rate. With no cure, the only successful method to prevent allergic reactions is to strictly avoid all foods containing the allergen. Hence, to identify these, the consumers rely on an accurate product labelling. The labelling of allergen contents for the industry is however not trivial, it does not only depend on the composition of the product, but also on the possible cross-contamination with allergens from other products.

The current lack of standardized food allergen control plans and cost-effective allergen testing tools, drives food manufacturers to adopt over cautious labelling strategies. As a result, 90% of products with ¨may contain¨ allergen labels do not contain any. This reduces the choice of safe food for the allergic population (39.1M people), leading to a risk taking behaviour.

SaPher project will disrupt the food allergen assessment market thanks to the development of an allergen assessment procedure supported by the industrialization and commercial deployment of our full automatic SaPher nano-photonics biosensing allergen test platform. SaPher will simultaneously assess up to 6 different allergens in food matrices, reducing turnaround times and cost by over 70% in comparison with current golden standards.

To reach market, we will elaborate a standardized risk assessment method (DTU), develop the antibodies of interest not commercially available in the market for the target industries (INGE), industrialize and optimise our technology for mass production (LUME and UPV) and demonstrate both technology and procedure with the meat, dairy and bakery industries (NESTLE) as well as independent laboratories under operational conditions.

As a result, we expect SaPher to be adopted by large and medium food producing companies and external laboratories, ensuring products are correctly labelled on allergen contents by performing over 1,1 Million allergen tests in 3 years.