Food consumption increase and available in the market with various flavors, features, branding, and/or packaging. Certain foods used to strengthen healthy issue while others deliver different taste to the consumers e.g.: cereals and potato chips. The manufacturers have done a very good job of creating a diversity of food demand, and now people demanding in return for better qualities and tastes.
The intense competitions between food companies about food qualities and quantities as well as prices lead to some companies take up some tricks in food productions. Plus, the consumers require better flavor of the food, so they add on some food additives to increase the food original taste. Some preferred food additives such as Citric Acid, Sodium, CMC…and Melamine.
What is Melamine?
- Melamine is a white crystalline compound used in the production of resin and usually used to make plastics. Melamine full name as 1,3,5-triazine 2,4,6-triamine and the chemical formula is C3H6N6, it hard to dissolved into water, odorless and colorless.
- Melamine also a derivative source of insecticides and can be formed in mammals. This is a substance synthesize from nitrogen which can withstand high temperature up to 35000C. People always use melamine as the main ingredient in production technology of home appliances, Formica (e.g.: furniture, walls…).
- Melamine even applies to milk production since the manufacturer usually dilutes water with water, meanwhile, they add melamine us being used to increasing protein content. Most of the time, it would be difficult to differentiate between a natural protein in the milk of melamine and which is nitrogen.
Melamine and human health
- Studies found out that melamine’s poisoning levels in mice with a lethal dose when it is over 3.000mg per kilogram. Another study on the toxicity subject found out that pet food (dogs and cats) with mixture infections of melamine and cyanuric acid which would cause Acute renal failure. Melamine did not harm to human health but it should not be swallowed, breathing or absorbed into the skin.
- If human foods contain melamine would cause a lot of problems to human’s health such as male/female infertility, Calculus of kidney, Cystitis or bladder cancer. It has been years for people to research on this issue, they tested on dogs reported in 1953 showed that they feed a dog with a mixture pet food (contains 3% of melamine), after one year of nurtured, it was a noticeable change in a particular dog’s urine as it reduced density and increase urine ounce because of renal tubular injury; not to mentioned the dog urine appearance of melamine, protein and more red blood cells.
- Actually, melamine itself does not consist of toxic but when it combined with a cyanuric acid (red color) though tile roof shaped molecules, degradation lead to kidney stones and if worse, it is possibility cause death.
- There was a case occurring in 2008 regarding the scandal of melamine compound found in milk powder; this case has been caused 6 children die. More importantly, there were 290,000 children found that they have got the serious health problem with kidney stones. This case made most of the parents who have young children being more alarmed and anxious about what is melamine about every time purchasing milk powder. They also wondering how could melamine (available in milk) pass through strict control of the health authorities and available in the market.
- Another studies based on a case of 53,000 children in China consume milk powder with the adhesion of melamine, it was a serious consequence as the similar effects which tested on animals. There is no exactly study and research regarding the effects of melamine compound on human health. The majority of experiments have shown that the impact causes mainly in kidney problems and lead to death.
- It was a conference in 2007 at Michigan’s University, the United States, Wilson Rumbeyha professor at the Center for Health Community Diagnosis and Pets state on his research that the salt crystals are insoluble melamine cyanurate easily, the chances of being eliminated from the body are extremely slow; it then builds up toxic in human body.
- Some manufacturer tries to fool the experiment though cyanuric acid. As mentioned, melamine itself can not deliver toxically, but it would be different and sometimes it would worse when melamine associate with cyanuric acid; and cause cholelithiasis.
- Acid cyanuric is a synthetic which was use in so many industries with the different name. it is white color, odorless and derivative from textile, bleach and herbicide industries. Cyanuric acid is a topic to research when it comes together with melamine, those two compounds combine to produce higher toxicity, causing so many reputations on melamine milk poisoning today.
- New York Times in 2007, certain industries which produce pet food with three additional chemicals, cyanuric acid is among of them, they mix it in order to increase the intensity of protein. Because it is cheaper and increase nitrogen (fake nitrogen by cyanuric to fool the test). In recent years, the researchers found out cyanuric is the main reason causes sickness and death because of the combination of two melamine and cyanuric acid.
Finally, based on all of the information and from researchers around the world, melamine is play role on kidney problem and lead to death. Especially when it occurs in children, it more likely to kill them, and if cyanuric acid is added, it higher toxicity level.
Melamine is a type of chemicals which is hard to prevent in the production process such as home appliances, dish pantry or food container. However, it won’t be a significant problem affect to health if the level is low.