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Food and a primary link to human cancer: developing techniques to measure a potent carcinogen presen

Project Reference: 02-PG-027

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: October, 2002

Project Duration: 48 months


One of the research recommendations that emerged from the World Health Organisation (WHO)/Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Acrylamide in Food Network was the need to develop simple low-cost method(s) to be used for routine monitoring. 

safefood sponsored a research project to design rapid and accurate tests for this carcinogenic compound. Two antibody based tests – ELISA and biosensor immunoassays – were produced and were shown to give rapid, quantitative and reproducible results for large numbers of food samples and across a wide range of food matrices.

In addition, these methods were shown to detect adducted acrylamide in human blood samples. Rapid sample preparation permits the analysis of a greater number of samples per day than would be possible with an equivalent LC/MS-MS system. Both ELISA and biosensor immunoassays for the detection of acrylamide in food were the first of their kind.

Principal Contractor(s):

Prof Chris Elliott, Queen’s University Belfast


Single supplier



Laboratory capacity building

Peer Reviews:

Preston, A., Fodey, T., Elliott, C.*.(2008).“Development of a high-throughput enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the routine detection of the Carcinogen Acylamide in food, via rapid derivation pre analysis”. Analytica Chimica acta 608 (2008) 178-185.

Preston, A*, Fodey, T., Douglas, A., Elliott, C. “Monoclonal antibody development for Acrylamide-adducted human haemoglobin; A biomarker of dietary acrylamide exposure”. Journal of Immunological Methods 341 (2009) 19-29.

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