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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #330333

Research Project: Sensing Technologies for the Detection and Characterization of Microbial, Chemical, and Biological Contaminants in Foods

Location: Environmental Microbial & Food Safety Laboratory

Title: Effects of the adulteration technique on the near-infrared detection of melamine in milk powder

Author
item Scholl, Peter - Food And Drug Administration(FDA)
item Bergana, Marti - Abbott Laboratories
item Yakes, Betsy - Us Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
item Zbylut, Steven - General Mills, Inc
item Downey, Gerard - Teagasc (AGRICULTURE AND FOOD DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY)
item Mossoba, Magdi - Us Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
item Jablonski, Joseph - Us Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
item Margaletta, Robert - Mondelez International
item Holroyd, Stephen - Dairy Nz, Ltd
item Buehler, Martin - DeCagon Devices, Inc
item Qin, Jianwei - Tony
item Xie, Zhuohong - International Chemistry Testing
item Hurst, William - Hershey Company
item Laponte, Joseph - Mondelez International
item Roberts, Dean - Bruker Optics
item Zrybko, Carol - Mondelez International
item Mackey, Andrew - Mondelez International
item Holton, Jason - Abbott Laboratories
item Israelson, Greg - Purina Pet Care
item Payne, Anitra - Land O'Lakes, Inc
item Kim, Moon
item Chao, Kuanglin - Kevin Chao
item Moore, Jeffrey - Us Pharmacipeia (USP)

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2017
Publication Date: 6/15/2017
Citation: Scholl, P., Bergana, M., Yakes, B., Zbylut, S., Downey, G., Mossoba, M., Jablonski, J., Margaletta, R., Holroyd, S.E., Buehler, M., Qin, J., Xie, Z., Hurst, W., Laponte, J.H., Roberts, D., Zrybko, C., Mackey, A., Holton, J.D., Israelson, G.A., Payne, A., Kim, M.S., Chao, K., Moore, J. 2017. Effects of the adulteration technique on the near-infrared detection of melamine in milk powder. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 65:5799-5809.

Interpretive Summary: Fraudulent adulterations of protein-rich human and animal foods with melamine and other adulterants have resulted in numerous public health incidents in the last decade. Robust methods for screening foods and ingredients for potential adulterants are needed to prevent the adulterants from being introduced into food supply chains. This collaborative research led by U.S. Pharmacopeia developed reference materials and targeted and non-targeted methods for detecting skim milk powder adulteration. The detectability of melamine that was dry-blended and wet-blended to the skim milk powder was compared for selected sensing techniques (e.g., near infrared and Raman). Wet-blended melamine changed spectral features and impaired the detectability of the methods using reagent melamine features as references. Non-targeted spectral methods can be used to detect wet-blended melamine. Data and results from more than ten sources collectively suggested that the detection technique for incorporating an adulterant should be carefully considered and evaluated. Such information is useful for scientists and researchers to develop efficient and effective reference materials and adulteration detection methods for authenticating foods and ingredients.

Technical Abstract: The fraudulent adulteration of protein-rich food ingredients with melamine in 2007 and 2008 highlighted the public health and economic consequences of adulterating foods with chemicals not approved for food use. U.S. Pharmacopeia is leading a collaborative project to develop reference materials as well as a tool-box of targeted and non-targeted methods for detecting skim and non-fat dry milk powder adulteration. Since adulteration is likely to take place early in the supply chain, the team considered adulteration technique implications on the suitability of potential reference materials and methods. This report compares the detectability of melamine that was dry-blended to that which was wet-blended by introducing melamine into fluid milk before spray drying. Wet-blending melamine altered melamine NIR spectral features and impaired its detectability by targeted NIR methods that use reagent melamine or dry-blended melamine spectral features. Wet-blended melamine, however, was detected by non-targeted NIR methods. Data from more than ten other analyses provide insights into the cause of the observed NIR spectral differences. Collectively, these studies indicate that the technique for incorporating an adulterant should be carefully considered when developing reference materials and adulteration detection methods.