This guide provides an honest comparison of four of the leading Rapid Allergen Lateral Flow Test Kits - helping you to make the right decision for your food production site.

From cost and efficiency to detection accuracy and storage conditions, there are so many factors to consider when it comes to evaluating your choice of Allergen Tests. With so many Rapid Lateral Flow Kits available on the market, we wanted to take a closer look at four of the most popular options – assessing the benefits and limitations of each methodology.

But first, we want to be upfront and draw your attention to the fact that our own range of Rapid Allergen Lateral Flow Tests are included in this article. Whenever we expand our product range, we carry out extensive research and set ourselves the goal of resolving common pain points – supplying our customers with benefits they haven’t seen before.

When you combine this attitude with our commitment to honesty and integrity, we hope that you can see why we have no interest in diverting you away from the other options on the market or restricting your access to information. With a matter as important as allergen control, we believe the focus should always be on safeguarding your operation and protecting the consumer. 

In this article we will be answering the questions listed below. There is helpful content in each section, but you can also use the following links to skip to the subject most relevant to your site.

How simple are the different tests?

This is an important point to consider, as the more straightforward a testing process is, the easier your roll out will be. Instead of struggling to train up your operatives and maintain standards, you will only have a simple process to explain. A simple test also allows you to drive efficiency, save on the long term costs of wasted time, and reduce the risk of human error.

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

This two-step test is the simplest and quickest process out of the four methodologies featured in this article:

  1. Swab the specified surface area, then return the swab to the bottle it came in and shake.
  2. Place a test stick horizontally. Flip open the lid of the bottle containing the swab. Using the bottle’s built-in droplet dispenser, squeeze four drops of the test solution onto the test stick and wait for your result.

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks

  1. Transfer 0.5ml of the Extraction Buffer Solution into the Extraction Tube.
  2. If you are testing a surface using a swab, you will need to moisten the tip of the swab with the Buffer Solution before swabbing a 10 x 10cm area. Put the swab into the extraction tube, snapping off the end. Alternatively, if you are testing rinse water, you will need to use a pipette to add 0.5ml of the sample to the extraction tube. In both instances, you will then add 4.5ml of the Extraction Buffer Solution and shake for 20 seconds.
  3. Allow the test sample to settle for 2 minutes.
  4. Using a pipette, add 10 drops of the test sample to a testing well, then place the end of an Allergen Test Stick into the sample. Wait for your result.

3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests

  1. Add 800 microlitres of Extraction Buffer Solution to a microcentrifuge tube.
  2. If you are testing rinse water, add 200 microlitres of your sample and shake for 15 seconds. For surface swabs, you will need to pre-moisten the swab with the Buffer Solution if you are testing a dry area. Once you have swabbed the surface area, add the swab to the sample tube, swirling it around the edge before breaking off the swab tip and closing the cap. Shake for 15 seconds.
  3. Place a test stick horizontally. Use a pipette to transfer the sample from the microcentrifuge tube to the device and wait for your result.

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

The test procedures for the different kits within this range may vary depending on the allergen being tested for. In the interest of providing an example, the following process is used for a Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Test for Peanuts.

  1. Remove the test kit from the refrigerator and wait for it to reach room temperate (20-30 minutes)
  2. Add the Extraction Buffer Solution to the sample tube.
  3. If you are testing rinse water, add 0.25ml of your rinse sample to the tube and shake for one minute. For surface swabs, you will need to pre-moisten the swab if you are testing a dry area. Once you have swabbed the surface, add the swab to the sample tube and shake for 1 minute.
  4. Take off the lid of the sample tube, then pour the sample into the lid until it is full. Take care not to include any froth.
  5. Dip the head of the Neogen® Reveal® 3-D device into the lid. Hold the device in place until the sample reaches the test window. As soon as this happens, lay the device flat and wait for it to generate a result.

What equipment is included in the Allergen Testing Kits?

The amount of equipment included in each Allergen Test Kit is a good indicator of how complex or simple the testing process is.

You should also pay close attention to the mention of additional equipment, as this is something that you will need to factor into the overall cost of your allergen testing.

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

As a two-step test, only two components are needed in this kit. A pack of ten includes:

  • 10 test sticks
  • 10 swab kits

Aside from a standard pipette for the testing of rinse water samples, the process doesn’t involve any additional consumables. Most notably, the process does not require an Extraction Buffer Solution.

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

The contents of each kit will vary slightly depending on the allergen that is being tested for. Using the example of a Reveal® 3-D allergen test for Peanut, a pack of ten includes:

  • 10 Reveal® 3-D devices
  • 10 Sachets of extraction buffer
  • 10 sample tubes and caps
  • 10 swab kits
  • One bottle of swab wetting solution

In terms of additional equipment, you may also require a 250 litre and 1,000 litre pipette.

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks

If ordered in packs of ten, the kits within this range include:

  • 10 immunochromatographic sticks
  • 10 sample collection tubes
  • 10 sample extraction buffer tubes
  • 10 spoons
  • 10 pipettes for testing liquid samples
  • 10 small pipettes
  • 10 swabs for testing surfaces

The process doesn’t involve any additional consumables.

3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests

If ordered in packs of 25, the kits within this range include:

  • 25 lateral flow devices
  • Allergen Specific Extraction Buffer
  • Dilution Tubes

Aside from a pipette, the process doesn’t involve any additional consumables.

How long does it take for the results to be generated?

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

The allergen tests within this range take 10 minutes to generate a result. The process also eliminates time consuming steps such as waiting for the tests to reach room temperature and preparing samples with the use of an Extraction Buffer Solution. Consequently, these tests offer the fastest overall testing time of any of the methods featured in this comparison.

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

When it comes to actually generating a result, the Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests take just 5 minutes. However, this is before you factor in the sample preparation time, with this process requiring you to bring your tests to room temperature for around 20 to 30 minutes before use. As mentioned previously in this article, you also need to carry out additional steps such as preparing your swabs with a wetting solution and mixing your sample with an Extraction Buffer Solution for one minute.

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks

AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks take 10 minutes to generate a result. Again, it is important to factor in the time it takes to prepare the samples being tested, as following this process, you will need to mix your sample with an Extraction Buffer Solution, shake for twenty seconds, then allow to sit for an additional two minutes.

3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests

Finally, the 3M™ tests take around 11 minutes to generate a result. Also reliant on an Extraction Buffer Solution, they involve a lengthy preparation process, tasking you with preparing the swab, mixing your sample with an extraction solution, before transferring the finished solution to the Lateral Flow Device.

What is the Detection Accuracy of the Allergen Tests?

Another important point to consider is the detection accuracy of your Allergen Tests. The more accurate your tests are, the easier it will be for your site to achieve reliable and repeatable results.

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

All the allergen tests within this range offer a detection accuracy of at least 0.5ppm.

However, the Gluten and Casein Allergen Tests offers a heightened accuracy of 0.4ppm.

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

This range offers varying degrees of accuracy depending on the allergen being tested for. Examples include:

  • Gluten: 5ppm
  • Soy Protein: 2.5ppm & Total Soy: 5ppm
  • Egg Protein: 2.4ppm & Total Egg: 5ppm

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks

This range offers varying degrees of accuracy depending on the allergen being tested for. Examples include:

  • Casein: 2.5ppm
  • Peanut: 1ppm
  • Crustacean: 10ppm
  • Egg: 1.25ppm

3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests

This range offers varying degrees of accuracy depending on the allergen being tested for. Examples include:

  • Peanut: 1ppm
  • Gluten: 5ppm
  • Soy: 2ppm
  • Egg white: 0.5ppm

Under what conditions should the Allergen Tests be stored and how long will they last?

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

Solving a common problem surrounding Lateral Flow Immunoassays, our range of Allergen Tests do not need to be refrigerated. Not only does this offer more options in terms of storage, but it also eliminates the time consuming task of waiting for the tests to reach room temperature before use.

Instead, they can be stored within the temperature range of 2-30°C. Under these conditions, the tests should last approximately 12 months from the date of despatch.

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

The tests within this range need to be refrigerated – kept at a temperature of 2-8℃.

3M™ Allergen Rapid Tests

The tests within this range need to be refrigerated – kept at a temperature of 2-8℃. Under these conditions, the tests should have a shelf life of 24 months.

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks do not need to be refrigerated. Instead, they can be stored within the temperature range of 2-25°C. Under these conditions, the tests should last a maximum of 9 months from the date of manufacture.

How much do the Allergen Tests cost?

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

The allergen test kits within this range are available in packs of ten tests. If you order 1-9 packs, they will cost £109 per pack.

However, if you order over ten packs, they will cost £95.38 per pack.

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

The allergen test kits within this range are available in packs of ten and the cost varies depending on the supplier you work with.

In the interest of providing an example, a leading supplier prices a pack of ten at around £130 (including VAT).

Hygiena AlerTox® Allergen Test Sticks

The allergen test kits within this range are available in packs of five, ten, and twenty-five. The cost varies depending on the supplier you work with.

In the interest of providing an example, a leading supplier prices the kits at around £80 for a pack of five – £280 for a pack of 25 (including VAT).

3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests

The allergen test kits within this range are available in packs of 25 and the cost varies depending on the supplier you work with.

In the interest of providing an example, a leading supplier prices the kits at around £350 (including VAT).

In Conclusion

Now that we have covered the key areas of comparison for four of the most popular rapid allergen test kits, we hope that you have come away with the information you need to secure the best solution for your site.

The table below provides an overview of the information shared in this article.

Honesty and integrity are core values here at Klipspringer and we never want to stand in the way of you accessing the information you need. With that in mind, you can click on the following links if you would like to be taken directly to the website of each supplier:

Klipspringer's Range of Allergen Tests

Neogen® Reveal® 3-D Allergen Tests

Hygiena AlerTox®  Sticks

3M™ Allergen Protein Rapid Tests

Simplicity

Simple, two-step process

Additional step for sample extraction

Additional step for sample extraction

Additional step for sample extraction

Additional Equipment

Pipette for rinse water

250 litre and 1,000 litre pipette

n/a

Pipette

Cost

<10 packs = £109 per pack >10 packs = 95.38 per pack

Leading supplier prices a pack of ten at approx £130

Leading supplier prices a pack of five at approx £80 and a pack of twenty-five at approx £280

Leading supplier prices a pack of twenty-five at approx £350

Storage Conditions

 2-30°C (don't need to be refridgerated)

 2-8°C (needs to be refridgerated)

 2-25°C (don't need to be refridgerated)

 2-8°C (needs to be refridgerated)

Lifespan of Swabs

Approx 12 months from date of despatch

n/a

Maximum of 9 months from date of manufacture

Approx 24 months

Speed of Results

10 minutes

5 minutes (requires 20-30 mins to reach room temp, plus time needed for preparation of sample)

10 minutes      (plus time needed for preparation of sample)

11 minutes (requires 20-30 mins to reach room temp, plus time needed for preparation of sample)

View our full range of Allergen Testing Kits

If there are any areas where you would like further guidance, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help with your enquiries. Simply contact our team on 01473 461800 or sales@klipspringer.com. Alternatively, you can fill out the form below.  

You can also use the form below to register your interest for a range of allergen tests that are capable of testing product samples, along with a range of ELISA tests. Although we do not currently supply these products, we have plans to expand our testing range to reflect the specific needs of our customers. With this in mind, we would welcome your feedback.

If you would like further guidance relating to the products referenced in this article, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help. Share your details below to arrange a free consultation.