Rapid melamine detection method developed, claims US firm

Related tags Chromatography Analytical chemistry High performance liquid chromatography

A rapid method for the detection of melamine in infant formula and liquid milk meets the requirements of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), claims its developer.

Waters Corporation said its liquid chromatography combined with tandem quadruple mass spectrometry (UPLC/MS/MS) method was originally developed in response to requests from China for a method of analysis to address the challenges of detecting melamine in milk products.

Dr Paul Young, senior manager, Chemical Analysis Operations, Waters Corporation said that the new approach compares favourably with the Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) method, employed by many laboratories for detection of melamine, as well as another conventional analysis tool, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).

“The UPLC/MS/MS method requires no derivatization step and with retention time of less than two minutes will complete the instrumental analysis inside four minutes," ​explained Young.

He said, in contrast, a GCMS based method requires a derivatization reaction time typically in the range 45 to 120 minutes, followed by an analysis time of around 20 minutes per sample, while the HPLC based methods need 10 to 15 minutes.

He said the UPLC/MS/MS method can detect melamine contamination as low as 1 μg/Kg (ppb).

“With the introduction of melamine standards and surveillance programs in many countries worldwide, it is expected that this technique will have global application impacting manufacturers, regulators, and most importantly, consumers,” ​said Young.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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