In 2008, an estimated 300,000 infants in China became sick from milk powder formula, some with kidney damage that ultimately led to fatalities. It was later discovered that The Sanlu Group, one of the largest dairy producers in China, had tainted the milk with melamine, an additive that is used to give the appearance of higher protein content to conceal watered-down milk and is toxic to infants.
This was one of the largest food safety scandals in Chinese history, and serves as an example of how imperative it is to stay away from processed foods and instead build a diet with natural, wholesome foods.
Now Chinese scientists have discovered a new, faster, simpler and more reliable test that will detect melamine in milk – in hopes of making it more difficult for farmers and dairy producers to get away with this crime. After learning that gold nano-particles (AuNPs) bond easily with melamine, the researchers were able to devise a test using just AuNPs and a UV-Vis spectrophotometer to watch for a color change in the solution. This on-site test takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and can detect melamine levels as low as two parts per million.
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