The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
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1297
In Brief: Melamine
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Melamine present in infant formula and other milk products has been associated with widespread illness and some deaths among infants in China. It was also identified in pet food sold in North America after a large number of pets became ill and some died. In both the infants and the pets, renal injury appeared to be the cause.1

Melamine (C3H6N6) is a heterocyclic compound, two-thirds nitrogen by weight, that is slightly soluble in water. When combined with formaldehyde, it forms melamine resin, which has a wide variety of industrial applications including the manufacturing of kitchenware, whiteboards and laminate flooring.1 Because of its nitrogen content, melamine has been illegally added to products such as milk, wheat gluten and rice protein to factitiously boost the apparent protein content; common assays for protein content do not distinguish between ... more      

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