Milky melamine

Two fast and inexpensive approaches to detecting the toxic compound melamine, which was at the center of a contaminated baby milk scandal in China recently, are reported, back to back in the RSC journal ChemComm. Both techniques use mass spectrometry and could be adapted to provide on-site kits that would require little training to use. According to David Muddiman of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, US, these are, "marvelous examples of how innovative, direct analysis ionization methods, when coupled with mass spectrometry have the ability to address contemporary problems facing the world." In their work, the researchers have removed all the major obstacles allowing for mass spectrometry not only to compete, but to take the lead in these types of analyses.