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Buckwheat Detection

The LMIV 1169/2011 lists all gluten-containing cereals that are subject to mandatory labeling due to their allergenic potential. These include wheat, rye, barley, spelt, oats and kamut. Allergies to grains, however, occur relatively rarely. Buckwheat is not a cereal, but belongs to the knotweed family and is therefore called a pseudocereal. There are 15 species worldwide. The best known is the true buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum).Although buckwheat is not a grain, it can be processed like wheat. The use of pseudocereals is in vogue. Representatives like buckwheat, amaranth and quinoa are called superfoods especially because of their ingredients. Because they are gluten-free, they offer a healthy alternative for consumers with gluten intolerance (celiac disease).

Buckwheat contains high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It is a very good source of magnesium, copper, manganese and phosphorus. It also contains vitamins A, D, B12 and B6. Foods made from buckwheat have a blood sugar-lowering effect due to their high content of chiro-inositol and can therefore be used to treat diabetes. Secondary plant constituents such as quercetin and rutin have anti-oxidant and preventive effects against arteriosclerosis. Nevertheless, caution is advised, as buckwheat can also trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. These include bronchial asthma, skin irritation (hives), conjunctivitis and rhinitis (type I food allergy). Buckwheat is therefore already classified as an allergen in Japan and Korea. In the EU, it is currently not a labelable allergen.

CONGEN has developed a real-time PCR test for the detection and quantification of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) in food and feed. In addition to the sensitive detection of traces, quantification in the range of 1-400 mg/kg is possible. With the help of the reference material SureFood® QUANTARD Allergen 40 an absolute quantification can be performed.