IDF And ISO Address Melamine In Milk

NEW ZEALAND - Following the crisis caused by milk adulterated with melamine that affected thousands of children two years ago in China, the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have developed a new test standard to determine the content of melamine and cyanuric acid in liquid milk, powdered milk products and infant formulae.
calendar icon 12 November 2010
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To prevent future adulterated milk products from entering the market, ISO and IDF prepared a technical specification (TS)/reviewed method (RM): ISO/TS 15495 | IDF/RM 230:2010, Milk, milk products and infant formulae – Guidelines for the quantitative determination of melamine and cyanuric acid by LC-MS/MS. This new ISO/IDF TS gives guidance on sampling, test procedures, performance and examples.

Consumer confidence

“This much awaited document will help strengthen consumer confidence in the milk industry”, says Richard Doyle, IDF President. “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.’’

“Although currently published as a TS/RM, the document is expected to become a fully fledged International Standard in the future”, added the co-project leaders: New Zealander Steve Holroyd and Thierry Delatour from Switzerland. The TS 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. It is available for purchase from the IDF website,

Systematic approach

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.

As a response, the IDF initiated a parallel project on monitoring 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.

The project will provide the principles and examples of approaches and means (tools, procedures, methods) in the form of a Guide on ‘Maintaining the integrity of suppliers´ milk: Assessment, prevention and monitoring’ that can be used alone or in combination to counteract systematic and/or large scale adulteration of suppliers´ milk. Widespread use of this Guide, in combination with the TS, will further reinforce consumer confidence in the milk industry’s ability to guarantee safe and nutritious products.

The project will formally publish its conclusions in early 2011, but progress to date is being outlined in a key presentation at the Workshop on ‘Safeguarding the integrity of milk and milk products – analytical and regulatory aspects’ at the IDF World Dairy Summit, 11 November 2010, Auckland New Zealand.

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