A lipid transfer protein (LTP, Cor a 8) together with the 11S (Cor a 9) and 7S seed storage globulins (Cor a 11) are major food allergens present in hazelnut. Methods are described for their purification and characterisation using in-gel tryptic digestion mass spectrometry to confirm their identities and circular dichroism and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopies to demonstrate that they are authentically folded. Preliminary immunochemical studies have also confirmed that the purified preparations retain their immunological properties in terms of immunoglobulin E binding, determined by immunoblotting using serum from hazelnut allergic patients. These preparations form a basis for development of improved methods of diagnosis of food allergy based on the concept of component-resolved diagnosis. © 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.