The determination of melamine in muscle tissue by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry

Michael S. Filigenzi, Elizabeth R. Tor, Robert H Poppenga, Linda A. Aston, Birgit Puschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


In early 2007 it was determined that the compound melamine, suspected of having been involved in the deaths of numerous pets, had been fed to hogs intended for human consumption. This report describes a method for the analysis of melamine in porcine muscle tissue using solid-phase extraction (SPE) and high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS). Melamine was extracted in 50% acetonitrile in water. Homogenates were centrifuged and supernatants were acidified and washed with methylene chloride. The aqueous extracts were cleaned up using mixed-mode C8/strong cation exchange SPE and then concentrated, fortified with a stable isotope-labeled analog of melamine, and analyzed by HPLC/MS/MS. Gradient HPLC separation was performed using an ether-linked phenyl column with ammonium acetate/acetic acid and acetonitrile as the mobile phase. Multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode of two precursor-product ion transitions for melamine and one for the internal standard was used. A five point calibration curve ranging from 50 to 2000 ng/mL of melamine in solvent was used to establish instrument response. The method was validated by analysis of seven replicate porcine muscle tissue samples fortified with 10 ng/g of melamine. The mean recovery for the seven replicates was 83% with 6.5% relative standard deviation and the calculated method detection limit was 1.7 ng/g.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4027-4032
Number of pages6
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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