Melamine

The news media and bulletins today are full of stories about the thousands of Children in China who have been poisoned by consuming contaminated milk power or infant formulas. Melamine is the culprit but no where did anyone bother to say exactly what it was. I have never come across it so I searched ‘Google’ and have listed below their answer.

 

 

 

What is melamine and why was it added to raw milk?

 

A. Melamine is a chemical that can be derived from coal and is about 66 percent nitrogen. It is combined with other chemicals to produce plastics. It is found in fertiliser, flame retardant clothing, countertops, dyes, glues and many other household items. When added to milk, it gives the appearance of higher protein levels, even though it contains no nutrients. Most protein tests take nitrogen levels, so melamine’s chemical structure is able to fool the instruments. Some dairies water down their milk, and melamine boosts protein ‘readouts’ to mask the result.

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