A new test standard to determine the melamine and cyanuric acid content of liquid milk, powdered milk products and infant formulae has been developed by the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Designed in response to the melamine in milk crisis that affected thousands of children two years ago in China, the new standard is designed to help prevent further supplies of adulterated milk products from entering the market.
Known as "Guidelines for the quantitative determination of melamine and cyanuric acid by LC-MS/MS", the new standard advises on sampling, test procedures and performance with examples of test results.
Richard Doyle, IDF president said: “This much awaited document will help strengthen consumer confidence in the milk industry. It will ensure the integrity and safety of tested milk and derivative products, and producers, manufacturers and regulatory authorities can use it to prevent further incidents.”
The current the standard is currently published as a technical report, the document is expected eventually to become a fully fledged International Standard.
Co-project leaders, New Zealander Steve Holroyd and Thierry Delatour said the technical standard 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.
According to a statement from IDF: “The melamine case in 2008 brought into focus the need for a more systematic approach for checking eventual adulteration of suppliers´ milk through the implementation of integrated chain management principles. The melamine case showed the need to put in place more robust procedures and systems.”
In addition to the test standard, IDF launched a project to monitor the integrity of suppliers’ milk. “A variety of methods and techniques are currently available or can be adapted from other areas. Combining or supplementing these methods and optimizing them for the purpose of monitoring the integrity of suppliers´ milk should provide a feasible way to counteract systematic adulteration,” said an IDF statement.
The project will provide the principles and examples of approaches and means, including tools, procedures and methods in the form of a guide to detecting milk adulteration. Called "Maintaining the integrity of suppliers’ milk: Assessment, prevention and monitoring", the guide will identify methods that can be used alone or in combination to counteract systematic and large-scale adulteration of suppliers´ milk.
“Widespread use of this guide, in combination with the TS (technical standard, will further reinforce consumer confidence in the milk industry’s ability to guarantee safe and nutritious products,” according to the organisation.
The project will publish its conclusions early next year.
The standard is available for purchase from the IDF website, www.fil-idf.org .