Melamine and food safety


Melamine is a chemical compound that is used in the production of laminates, glues, plastics and adhesives. It can be very harmful when melamine is swallowed or inhaled and it could cause health problems which mostly result into kidney malfunctions. Melamine is a nitrogen rich compound and therefore it is illegally used to increase the amount of protein content of food. An example of an illegal use of melamine in food is the Chinese milk scandal in 2008 (1). Several companies added melamine to the infant formula, leading to kidney stones of more than 50.000 infants. To maintain food safety, it is of great importance to be able to detect the harmful concentrations of melamine in food products.


To detect concentrations of melamine in food



1) E. Wong: Milk Scandal Pushes China to Set Limits on Melamine. The New York Times 2008.