Nanotechnologies are finding a growing range of applications in the food sector. Nanoparticles are used notably to add vitamins and other nutrients to foods and beverages without affecting taste and color. They are also used to develop new tastes, preserve food texture, control the release of flavors, improve the bioavailability of compounds such as antioxidants and vitamins, and monitor freshness with nanosensors. Crosslinked gelatin nanoparticles are a component of nano-sized carriers for nutrient and supplement delivery in foods and related products. This paper describes the production and characterization of polyclonal antibodies against gelatin nanoparticles. Two immunization schemes were investigated: subcutaneous injection with and without a first intravenous injection. Two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay formats were used to characterize the antibodies: an inhibition format with an antigen-coated plate for detection of the immune response and a sandwich format for development of the method. The antibodies showed good sensitivity with an IC50 equal to 0.11 ng mL-1 using indirect ELISA format and a good specificity for the nanomaterials, without significant cross-reactivity against native gelatin. The limit of detection was determined—0.42, 0.27, 0.26, and 0.24 µg mL-1 for apple, orange juice, milk, and soft drink matrices, respectively. ELISA technology offers rapid, low-cost assays for screening foods, feeds, and beverages. We have studied a prototype ELISA for detection of gelatin-based nanocarrier systems. Fruit juices, milk, and a soft drink were the matrices selected for assay development.
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