No more melamine in milk with new ISO testing Standard

Issue 23 – December 2010

Following the crisis caused by milk adulterated with melamine which affected thousands of children 2 years ago, ISO and the International Dairy Federation have developed a testing Standard to determine the content of melamine and cyanuric acid in milk, powdered milk products, and infant formulae.

In 2008, several children died or became seriously ill after drinking milk contaminated by melamine. The substance, which is used in the manufacturing of fire-retardant plastics, had been added to milk sold by some companies in order to make it appear to have a higher protein content. In humans, ingestion of melamine can cause kidney stones and renal failure. This is particularly dangerous for babies and small children for whom it can prove fatal.

To prevent future adulterated milk products from entering the market, ISO and IDF prepared technical specification (TS) 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 much awaited document will help strengthen consumer confidence in the milk industry', says Steve Holroyd, co-Project Leader of the technical specification. 'It will ensure the integrity and safety of tested milk and derivative products. Producers, manufacturers, and regulatory authorities can use it to prevent further incidents. Although currently published as a TS, the document is expected to become a fully fledged international Standard in the future.'

ISO/TS 15495 | IDF/RM 230:2010 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.

You can order PDFs of ISO Standards by calling 0800 782 632 during business hours or emailing

Published in health.