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Reliable rapid test for melamine contamination

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Eurofins launches new reliable rapid test as melamine raises its head again.

Eurofins UK, the leading food test laboratory has developed a new rapid approach for the testing of melamine contamination in chocolate, with same day results available by special request.

For those importing chocolate products, particularly from China where there has been recent identification of melamine in powdered milk as well as illness among 300,000 people in 2008 from the same issue, a sensitive rapid method for testing melamine is essential to ensure product safety and minimise delays in getting product to market.

The new method has improved on previous published methods which often provided unreliable results due to the high fat content of chocolate. Eurofins' new method utilises the latest chromatographic LC-MS/MS instrumentation - recently installed at the company's Wolverhampton laboratory - meaning quicker results in fewer steps. The new instrumentation has excellent sensitivity and the methodology has been designed to handle high fat content sample types such as milk and milk derived products such as chocolate, butter, cheese plus soya derived products.

Depending on customer requirements, Eurofins offers melamine adulteration testing on a same day, next day or three day turnround, allowing products to be delivered to market more quickly.

The adulteration of food products with melamine was first recognised in 2007 in China when milk and infant formula were found to be contaminated, causing conditions such as kidney stones and renal failure, especially in young children. Three hundred thousand people became ill, with more than 50,000 infants hospitalised and six infant deaths.

The threat of melamine contamination was then also detected in chocolate products. In July 2010 the World Health Organisation confirmed tolerances for melamine at 2.5 parts per million (ppm) in foods and 1ppm for infant formulas.

Melamine adulteration testing brochure [PDF 317 Kb]

For more information contact Eurofins Laboratories tel 0845 604 6740 or

7 December 2010