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WEBINAR Rapid kits on-site solution for food allergen detection

By Food Focus on 24 September 2020

Date: 14 October 2020

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM SAST

Cleaning validation and verification are fundamental components of effective food allergen control, and both are best supplemented with appropriate analysis. Verification testing should preferably be done on-site, which eliminates the time and financial constraints associated with laboratory-based methods. Rapid kits are ideal for on-site analysis because they are quick, mobile, cost-effective, require little technical skill to operate, and in most cases require no additional equipment.


The FACTS team took a closer look at the food industry’s responsibilities in terms of allergen control, validation and verification, and focused on the different allergen rapid-kit systems for on-site testing that are available – including which important factors to consider when choosing a rapid kit.


About the Speakers

Comaine van Zijl
Comaine, a FACTS technical consultant, is a food technologist and experienced allergen management consultant and trainer. For close to 10 years she has been helping clients develop, validate and verify allergen management plans, including assisting them in choosing appropriate rapid kit systems.

The Allergen Bureau’s VITAL® (Voluntary Incidental Trace Allergen Labelling) Programme is a standardised allergen risk-assessment process for the food industry. Comaine is a registered VITAL® trainer, and FACTS are the only VITAL®-endorsed trainers in Southern Africa; through this programme she has assisted various clients with their risk assessments.

Comaine is a firm believer in making food safety and allergen management plans simple and rational. There is nothing in life that energises her as much as seeing the inside of a food factory, big or small, and understanding how their process flows from raw materials to finished products.

Hesrie van Heerden
Hesrie van Heerden, is a Food Scientist and the Technical Service Developer at FACTS; a company that provides expertise in food testing, allergen management, regulatory advice, nutrition and food fraud.

Her main objective is to grow client relationships and develop the services FACTS offers the food industry. While earning her degree in food science at Stellenbosch University, Hesrie worked in the production and new product development areas of the dairy and meat industries. She started working at FACTS after she completed her degree, and has since gained extensive knowledge and experience in allergen control.

Hesrie’s role as an allergen management consultant at FACTS has exposed her to the many challenges industry is facing, and this has enabled her to help clients find the best solutions for overcoming their obstacles. In 2019, she was awarded the Allergen Bureau FAMS2019 travel grant for research addressing globally consistent, science-based food allergen risk assessment and labelling.

Hesrie’s involvement in the allergen field has fuelled her passion for food safety and allergen control; she welcomes any opportunity to support clients and equip them with the necessary technical knowledge and practical expertise regarding allergen management.