Bruker Daltonics introduces five minute melamine food safety testing solution

8 January 2009

Bruker Daltonics has released a robust, fast and highly sensitive high-capacity ion trap HCT solution for the detection and quantification of melamine and cyanuric acid (CA) by food safety laboratories.

Since September 2008, thousands of infants and young children in China have been hospitalized to treat the symptoms caused by the ingestion of melamine and CA contaminated infant formula and related dairy products. Previously in 2007, pet food, animal feed wheat gluten and other protein-based foods were found to contain residues of melamine and CA.

A five minute, accurate LC-MS/MS analysis method has been developed by Bruker Daltonics’ food safety development laboratory in Australia. This robust, easy-to-use and cost-effective method for the extraction, detection and quantification of melamine and CA uses the speed, sensitivity and excellent quantitative capabilities of the high-capacity ion-trap mass spectrometer HCTultraTM, hyphenated with a Dionex UltiMateTM 3000 LC system and AcclaimTM Mixed-Mode WAX-1 column.

The method is capable of detecting melamine in various matrixes well below the concentrations required by various food safety and other regulatory authorities around the world, such as the limits set by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of 1 ppm for melamine and cyanuric acid in infant formula, and 2.5 ppm for other foods.

Dr Matthias Pelzing, Asia-Pacific Applications Manager for Bruker Daltonics, explained: “We recommend LC-MS/MS methods due to their straight-forward sample preparation, compared to GC-MS methods which often require sample derivatisation. With our new routine analysis method we have demonstrated that melamine can be detected down to trace levels of 0.05 ppb, and that it is possible to quantify melamine at concentrations relevant to various international food authorities in 5 minutes.”

Mr Clive Seymour, Executive Vice President of Bruker Daltonics, commented: “Due to its robustness, ease of use, small footprint and lower cost, our HCT ion trap-based solution offers significant practical and operational advantages over traditional triple-quad MRM approaches. In addition, the superior full scan sensitivity of our unique HCT ion trap technology offers not only outstanding detection limits for melamine and CA, but also the option of full-scan identification of other unknown, new or modified food contaminants with superior sensitivity.”

The new Bruker Application Note #LCMS-49 on melamine and CA analysis is available in English, Chinese, Korean, Thai and Japanese, and can be downloaded at

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