Tree nuts show nutritional properties and human health benefits. However, they contain allergenic proteins, which make them harmful to the sensitised population. The presence of tree nuts on food labelling is mandatory and, consequently, the development of suitable analytical methodologies to detect nuts in processed foods is advisable. Real-Time PCR allowed a specific and accurate amplification of allergen sequences. Some food processing methods could induce structural and/or conformational changes in proteins by altering their allergenic capacity, as well as produce the fragmentation and/or degradation of genomic DNA. In this work, we analysed by means of Real-Time PCR, the influence of pressure and thermal processing through Instant Controlled Pressure Drop (DIC) on the detectability of hazelnut, pistachio and cashew allergens. The detection of targets in hazelnut, pistachio and cashew (Cor a 9, Pis v 1 and Ana o 1, respectively) is affected by the treatment to different extents depending on the tree nut. Results are compared to those previously obtained by our group in the analysis of different treatments on the amplificability of the same targets. Reduction in amplificability is similar to that reported for some autoclave conditions. Our assays might allow for the detection of up to 1000 mg/kg of hazelnut, pistachio and cashew flours after being submitted to DIC treatment in food matrices.
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