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Interdisciplinary Toxicology

The Journal of Institute of Experimental Pharmacology of Slovak Academy of Sciences

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Toxicological risk of melamine and cyanuric acid in food and feed

Pavel Suchý1 / Eva Straková1 / Ivan Herzig1 / Jaroslav Staňa1 / Renata Kalusová1 / Markéta Pospíchalová1

Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic1

Central Institute for Supervising and Testing in Agriculture, Czech Republic2

This content is open access.

Citation Information: Interdisciplinary Toxicology. Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 55–59, ISSN (Online) 1337-9569, ISSN (Print) 1337-6853, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10102-009-0010-6, June 2009

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Toxicological risk of melamine and cyanuric acid in food and feed

From the toxicological point of view, in the last two years melamine and cyanuric acid have become matters of great interest. These substances, especially melamine, have been abused during food and feed adulteration by increasing the content of nitrogen compounds in these products. Melamine and cyanuric acid as individual substances do not pose any serious risk in terms of toxicology. From the point of view of toxicology, it is especially the complex of melamine with cyanuric acid that is important. This complex, also known as the melamine-cyanurate complex, is a cause of human and animal health problems. In this work we present two examples of the incidence of melamine and cyanuric acid in two feed products originating from China. They were rice and the pea concentrates intended for animal nutrition. Protein concentrates can be the main risk factor for food chain contamination with melamine and cyanuric acid, especially those of unknown origin. Feed with a high content of nitrogen compounds and low content of aminoacids can be regarded as particularly suspicious. A comparison of results for determining nitrogen compounds and amines can be used as proof of adulteration of protein feeds. These feeds must be subjected to further analysis to determine melamine and cyanuric acid.

Keywords: adulteration of protein feeds; nitrogen compounds; toxicological consequences

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