A pilot study (APMP.QM-P19) for the measurement of melamine in milk powder
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- Sin, D.W.M., Chan, P., Wong, Y. et al. Accred Qual Assur (2012) 17: 245. doi:10.1007/s00769-011-0854-2
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A pilot study (APMP.QM-P19) of the Asia Pacific Metrology Program for the determination of melamine at two different levels in milk powder was organized in 2010. It was the first interlaboratory comparison programme in measuring melamine in food matrices for metrology institutes in the region. Melamine was chosen as the target analyte because of the recent crises that happened in 2007 and 2008 had caused substantial concern from consumers, food manufacturers, policy makers on food safety and the food testing communities. The objectives of APMP.QM-P19 were to evaluate the testing capability of participants on the quantification of trace level melamine in milk and milk products and to investigate the degree of equivalence with respect to the assigned values. In total, 19 laboratories (11 metrology institutes and eight food testing institutes) enrolled in the study. Analytical techniques reported by participants included liquid chromatography with ultra-violet and tandem mass spectrometry, gas chromatography with high-resolution mass spectrometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Dispersion of analytical data in the two test materials was significant, and normal Gaussian distribution of data was not observed. The median was agreed to be used as the assigned values in the programme. Metrology institutes who employed isotope dilution mass spectrometry technique were found to give more consistent results and higher degree of equivalence than others. The performance of most of the food testing institutes was not satisfactory, and they were encouraged to have a thorough review of their validation procedure and estimation of uncertainty.