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Melamine - What is Melamine?


Melamine? Dead Infants? China? What's wrong?

The news about dead infants + melamine + milk + China has heavily reported, discussed and reasearched. I was slightly aware of the incident occuring in China, but recently, when my government took some action on investigating our own dairy products on shelves, I need to pay extra attention on what Melamine is all about. What is the fuss about Melamine? When my wife asked me what is Melamine, I can't provide her the answer. Thus, I know, I need to technically know this chemical and what's the hazardous implication towards us... I need to be aware and
 protect my family.

Anyone can easily get details on melamine from Google - Wikipedia, but let me just share the info... 

What is Melamine?

The following description about Melamine is adopted from Wikipedia:

"Melamine is an organic base and a trimer of cyanamide, with a 1,3,5-triazine skeleton. Like cyanamide, it contains 66% nitrogenby mass and, if mixed with resins, has fire retardant properties due to its release of nitrogen gas when burned or charred, and has several other industrial uses. Melamine is also a metabolite of cyromazine, a pesticide. It is formed in the body of mammals who have ingested cyromazine.[2] It has been reported that cyromazine can also be converted to melamine in plants.[3][4]

Melamine combines with cyanuric acid to form melamine cyanurate, which has been implicated in the Chinese protein export." 


Further description on Melamine... (from Wikipedia/melamine)

"Melamine is a man-made substance commonly employed in a variety of industrial products and processes, including the manufacture of synthetic countertops, dry erase boards, fabrics, glues, housewares, flame retardants and dyes. Nitrogen rich, it is sometimes illegally added to food products in order to increase their apparent protein content. Introduced to milk, it can help conceal its fraudulent dilution with water.[7] Common nitrogen-based protein level tests used in China, such as the Kjeldahl and Dumas methods, fail to distinguish between melamine and naturally occurring milk proteins, allowing the protein levels to be falsified."

The table shows the physical properties of Melamine:


What's the impact of Melamine? What's the negative effect of Melamine (taken from Wikipedia)?

Melamine is known to cause renal and urinary problems in humans and animals when combined in the body with cyanuric acid,[7][8] sometimes present in drinking water and in animal feed[9], so its use in food production is banned in China elsewhere.[10]

Melamine adulteration of food products has made other headlines in recent years, including pet food recalls in Europe and the U.S. in 2007. It has also been employed as an additive to cattle feed to boost its nitrogen content, appearing in soy meal, corn gluten meal and cottonseed meal.

What is the acceptable level of melamine in food?

According to Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety, the legal limit is 2.5 part per million (ppm). The information is taken from The Star news - HK says Cadbury Melamine Levels Acceptable.


List of Milk Products being investigated... 

Following is a list of milk product being investigated under Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD Phillippines), [only applicable in Philiphines] (please refer to jpsimbulan.com). This is to give us an idea on what type of dairy products may have more dosage of melamine. These milk brands/products do not necessarily mean they are melamine contaminated. 

1. Anchor Lite Milk
2. Anchor Wam Frootmilk Drink Mango Magic
3. Anchor Wam Frootmilk Orange Chill
4. Anchor Wam Frootmilk Strawberry Spin
5. Anlene Milk
6. Anmum Materna 180g
7. Anmum Materna Chocolate
8. Dutch Lady Pure Milk
9. Farmland Skim Milk
10. Greenfood Yili Pure Milk
11. Jinwei Drink
12. Jollycow Pure Fresh Milk
13. Jollycow Slender Low Fat Milk
14. KLIM Instant Full Cream Milk Powder 1.8kg
15. M&M Chocolate Brown 40gm
16. Meiji Hokkaido Azuki (red bean ice cream)
17. Meiji Ujikintoki (red bean and green tea frozen confection)
18. Mengniu Original Drink Milk
19. Mengniu Pure Milk
20. Milk Chocolate Bars/China
21. Milk Chocolate Candies?China
22. Milkboy repacked
23. Monmilk Breakfast Milk Walnut Milk Beverage
24. Monmilk High Calcium Low Fat Milk
25. Monmilk High Calcium Milk
26. Monmilk Milk Deluxe Pure Milk
27. Monmilk Pure Milk
28. Monmilk Suan Suan Ru Sour Milk Beverage (Mango flavor)
29. Natural Choice Milk Ice Bar
30. Nespray
31. Nestle Carnation Calcium Plus Non Fat Milk Powder (1.6kg)
32. Nestle Chocolate Flavor Ice Cream Cone
33. Nestle Dairy Farm Pure Milk
34. Nestle Vanilla Flavor Ice Cream Cone
35. Nutri Express Milk
36. Nutri-Express 15 Nutritional Elements (blue, red and orange label and cap)
37. Nutri-Express Milk
38. Nutri-Express Milk Green Apple
39. Prime Roast Cereals 28gm
40. Pura Fresh Milk
41. Snickers Brown 59gm
42. Strawberry Sorbet
43. Trappist Dairy Low Fat Yogurt drink
44. Vita Fresh Milk
45. Wahaha Orange
46. Wahaha Yellow
47. Want Want Milk Drink
48. Yili High Calcium 250ml
49. Yili High Calcium Milk 1L
50. Yili High Calcium Low Fat Milk Beverage
51. Yili Low Fat Milk 1L
52. Yili Milk
53. Yili Puremilk 250ml
54. Yili Puremilk 1L
55. Yinlu Milk Peanut



Can I refer to any authority to ask further about Melamine...?

Well, of course. For the case of Malaysia (I dwell here), you can call Food Safety and Quality Division,  Ministry of Health Malaysia at

+60-3-88 83 36 55
+60-3-88 83 35 03,
+60-3-88 83 36 52
+60-3-88 83 35 00

For further information or latest update on milk products tainted with melamine issue, please access Food Safety and Quality Division website under Ministry of Health Malaysia. Alternatively, please visit WHO website to better understand about melamine contamination.

To obtain the updated list of milk/dairy products that are not affected by melamine contamination by Food Safety and Quality Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, click here.

I'm sorry but I'm not able to provide information of the approve milk/dairy product for all countries.

Latest melamine related videos:



New tests on baby milk powder in China show no signs of melamine. The scandal that broke almost a month ago, is responsible for the deaths of four infants and sickening more than 54 thousand others. (Oct. 6). Source: AssociatedPress (AP).




Chinese candy sold in Chinatowns across the U.S. has tested positive for melamine, linking it to the tainted milk scandal blamed for at least 4 deaths and thousands of sick children. (Oct. 3). Source: AssociatedPress (AP).



BEIJING -- A Chinese dairy that sold milk powder linked to kidney stones in infants knew it contained a banned chemical weeks before ordering a recall, the health minister said Saturday. 

One child has died and an official said the number of children sickened had risen to 432. 

Investigators have detained 19 people and are questioning 78 to find out how melamine was added to milk supplied to Sanlu Group Co., China's biggest milk powder producer, officials said at a news conference. They said some tainted powder was exported to Taiwan but none was sent to other foreign markets. 

In Taiwan, authorities seized thousands of bags of Chinese milk powder. The incident reflects China's enduring problems with product safety despite a shake-up of its regulatory system after a spate of warnings and recalls about tainted toothpaste, faulty tires and other goods. 

The biggest group of victims is in China itself, where shoddy or counterfeit products are common. Infants, hospital patients and others have been killed or injured by tainted or fake milk, medicines, liquor and other products.

In 2004, more than 200 infants suffered malnutrition and at least 12 died after being fed phony formula with no nutrients. Some 40 companies were found to be making phony formula.

News and videos adopted from Youtube.com.

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posted by zaki yamani @ 10:08 PM,

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The Author

zyz

I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!


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