In countries like the US and Canada that operate mandatory vitamin A and D fortification policies for fluid milk, regular testing by processors and labs is necessary to ensure that vitamin levels are as they should be.
The VitaKit A and its accompanying VitaKit D, for measuring vitamin D levels, are being billed by SciMed Technologies as more time and cost efficient alternatives to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) tests. They are both based on an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) technique.
James Chivers-Wilson, VP corporate development, said the AOAC certification for Vitamin A kit is significant because: “It confirms through industrial analysis that our kits perform as we say that do as indicated on their labels. Milk processors and food analysis labs can have confidence that the kits work with appropriate sensitivity and accuracy.”
Speed and cost
Pitching the VitaKit systems against established HPLC technology, Chivers-Wilson said they offer three key advantages.
Firstly, he said the VitaKit tests provide accurate results in 2 hours rather than a matter of days, allowing processors to respond quickly to changes in vitamin levels and allowing labs to respond quickly to requests.
Secondly, the company spokesperson claimed the new tests are far more cost effective than existing alternatives, and thirdly, he added that they use a fraction of the organic solvents used in traditional HPLC.
Canada-based SciMed Technologies expects that interest in its vitamin testing kits will come from milk processors doing in-house quality checks and labs conducting independent tests for manufacturers.
Explaining in more details how the test kits work Seema Gupta, VP product development, said: “The VitaKit A assay utilizes immobilization of proprietary monoclonal antibody directed against vitamin-A molecule (retinol) on a solid phase. A second anti-vitamin-A monoclonal antibody conjugated to horseradish peroxidase (HRPO) is used as the detecting antibody in the assay.
“VitaKit D assay system utilizes a fixed number of Vitamin D3 molecules immobilized on a solid phase. These molecules compete with an unknown number of Vitamin D3 molecules extracted from milk samples for a fixed number of binding sites on enzyme-labeled proprietary monoclonal antibody directed against Vitamin D3.”