Title: Melamine Proficiency Test 2009 - Assessing the Capabilities of Control Laboratories to Measure Melamine in Skimmed Milk Powder and Starch-containing Foods
Publisher: OPOCE
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC51692
ISBN: 978-92-79-12209-5
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 23809 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC51692
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: A proficiency test to assess the capabilities of laboratories in the EU and beyond to determine melamine in a milk powder and a baking mix, representing starch-containing foods like bread and biscuits, was carried out in January of 2009 by the Joint Research Centre upon request of the European Commission¿s Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO). The need for such an interlaboratory comparison arose from a health scare in China in 2008 about melamine tainted powdered milk. Laboratories of 31 countries, including Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the United States of America, and 21 of the 27 Member States of the European Union, participated and reported back 114 results for the milk powder and 112 for the baking mix test materials. The reported results were compared to reference values determined by exact-matching double isotope dilution mass spectrometry. The so determined assigned values were 10.0±0.6 mg/kg melamine in the milk powder and 3.18±0.17 mg/kg melamine in the baking mix. A coverage factor k of 2 was applied to calculate the expanded uncertainties. Three-quarters of all reported results for both materials had associated z-scores which were satisfactory (z=|2|). 90% of the results were accompanied by a measurement uncertainty statement and the majority of the measurement uncertainty ranges were reasonable. A number of laboratories were found to underestimate their measurement uncertainties. Isotope dilution mass spectrometry with stable-isotope labelled melamine was shown to be clearly advantageous with regards to the accuracy of the results. However, no significant influence by other method parameters could be identified.
JRC Directorate:Health, Consumers and Reference Materials

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