Determination of Emerging Nitrogenous Economic Adulterants in Milk Proteins by HPLC/Compact Mass Spectrometry

Economic adulteration of milk involves adulteration with nitrogen-rich compounds to interfere with the widely used Kjeldahl protein assay and inate the total protein content result for economic gains. The economic adulteration issue garnered global attention during the melamine scandal in 2007 which resulted in the sickening and deaths of infants fed with adulterated milk powder. Therefore the ability to rapidly screen milk ingredients in the manufacturing plants for potential economic adulterants is becoming increasingly important.

The current analytical method of choice is based on UPLC-MS/MS which is both expensive and requires considerable expertise for routine use. A simpler and more cost-effective alternative for frontline screening has been developed. The method uses HILIC-based HPLC and single quadrupole mass spectrometry detection to determine the presence of melamine, cyromazin, ammelide and ammeline in milk-based protein commodities.

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