Ann Arbor, MI - NSF International today announced a new testing service for suppliers in the food industry to detect the presence of melamine, an industrial chemical used in plastics that was recently found in pet food products.
Melamine is frequently used in product materials and synthetic fibers, clothing, inks and plastic food containers. The chemical was added to wheat gluten and rice protein exported from China to increase protein levels in animal feeds. China has since banned its exporters from using the chemical as an additive in feeds.
NSF, an independent testing laboratory, is expanding its melamine testing capabilities following the widespread pet food contamination and the ensuing product recall. The resulting melamine contamination has generated an increased demand by pet food manufacturers who are seeking accredited laboratories that test for melamine presence.
To meet international commerce needs in China, NSF has an accredited testing laboratory in Shanghai that will conduct the testing and local auditors that will inspect the facilities to screen for melamine and other toxins. This process will ensure that products and raw materials exported overseas can be evaluated prior to being exported.
"It is the processors legal responsibility to ensure that all ingredients used in their products are safe, and our goal is to help these companies fulfill this commitment while also protecting the public," said Tom Chestnut, vice president, NSF Supply Chain Food Safety and Quality Programs. "With a network of fully-accredited laboratories, NSF can evaluate a wide range of products and raw materials to protect against melamine adulteration, and by conducting the tests before products are exported from China, we can help to ensure that the supply chain is not interrupted."
NSF’s melamine testing capabilities include laboratory analysis of processed foods, animal feeds, wheat gluten, rice protein concentrate and corn gluten. NSF uses FDA analytical methods for melamine testing, screening and quantitative analysis using chromatographic techniques, including analysis using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) or High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
In addition to melamine, NSF can also test for heavy metals, pesticides, antibiotics, microbiologicals and diethylene glycol (DEG). For more information on these testing services, please visit http://www.nsf.org/business/laboratory_services/chemistry_lab or contact Kurt Kneen, Ph.D., director, NSF’s Chemistry Laboratory, at [email protected] or 734-827-6874.
About NSF International: NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water and consumer goods (www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.