Objective: To develop an analytical method for simultaneously qualitative and quantitative determination of melamine and triazine-related by-products including ammelide, ammeline, and cyanuric acid in milk and milk products by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS).
Methods: Melamine and triazine-related by-products namely ammelide, ammeline and cyanuric acid in the samples were extracted in a solvent mixture of diethylamine, water, and acetonitrile (10:40:50, V/V/V). After centrifugation, an aliquot of the supernatant was evaporated to dryness under a gentle stream of nitrogen gas, and then melamine and triazine-related by-products were derivatized using BSTFA with 1% TMCS. The derivatives of melamine and its analogues were determined by gas chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry using multiple reactional monitoring (MRM) with 2, 6-Diamino-4-chloropyrimidine (DACP) being used as an internal standard.
Results: The linear detectable ranges were from 0.004 mg/kg to 1.6 mg/kg for melamine, ammelide, ammeline, and cyanuric acid with a correlation coefficient no less than 0.999. The recovery rates of the four compounds in spiked blank milk powder at concentrations 0.5, 1, 2 mg/kg were between 61.4%-117.2%, and the relative standard deviation was no more than 11.5% (n=6). The detection limits of melamine, ammelide, ammeline and cyanuric acid in milk powder were 0.002 mg/kg with a ratio of signal to noise of 3.
Conclusion: This GC-MS/MS method for simultaneous determination of melamine, ammelide, ammeline, and cyanuric acid in milk and milk products is sensitive and specific.