No more melamine in milk with new ISO testing standard
Following the crisis caused by milk adulterated with melamine which affected thousands of children two years ago, ISO and the International Dairy Federation (IDF), have developed a testing standard to determine the content of melamine and cyanuric acid in milk, powdered milk products and infant formulae.
In 2008, several children died or became seriously ill after drinking milk contaminated by melamine. The substance, which is used in the manufacturing of fire-retardant plastics, had been added to milk sold by some companies in order to make it appear as having a higher protein content. In humans, ingestion of melamine can cause kidney stones and renal failure. This is particularly dangerous for babies and small children for whom it can prove fatal.
To prevent future adulterated milk products from entering the market, ISO and IDF prepared technical specification (TS) ISO/TS 15495 | IDF/RM 230:2010, Milk, milk products and infant formulae – Guidelines for the quantitative determination of melamine and cyanuric acid by LC-MS/MS.
“The TS defines a method using electrospray ionization liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, and provides guidelines for sampling, test procedures, performance and examples,” explains Thierry Delatour, co-Project Leader of ISO/TS 15495 | IDF/RM 230.
“This much awaited document will help strengthen consumer confidence in the milk industry”, says Steve Holroyd, co-Project Leader of the TS. “It will ensure the integrity and safety of tested milk and derivative products. Producers, manufacturers and regulatory authorities can use it to prevent further incidents. Although currently published as a TS, the document is expected to become a fully fledged International Standard in the future.”
ISO/TS 15495 | IDF/RM 230:2010 will be useful for dairy producers and suppliers, milk product and infant formulae manufacturers, regulatory and testing authorities, equipment suppliers, and the food industry in general.
The document was prepared by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 34, Food products, subcommittee SC 5, Milk and milk products, in collaboration with IDF – a non-profit organization representing the dairy sector worldwide. IDF and ISO have a long history of working together to develop and jointly publish standards methods of analysis and sampling for milk and derivative products.
ISO/TS 15495 | IDF/RM 230:2010, Milk, milk products and infant formulae -- Guidelines for the quantitative determination of melamine and cyanuric acid by LC-MS/MS, is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 118 Swiss francs, through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department (see right-hand column).