DairyGuard: Augmenting Nutritional Testing of Milk Powder with Adulterant Screening
12 October 2015

Milk powder is one of the most widely traded food commodities, with over 2.5 million metric tons exported annually, and is used in a huge array of food products, from infant formula to baked goods and confectionary. Unfortunately, dairy products are also a frequent target of food fraud, with 137 cases of economically motivated adulteration worldwide recorded by the United States Pharmacopoeia in 2011-2012. The value of milk powder is linked to its protein content, and standard methods for protein analysis rely on a simple nitrogen assay, with the protein concentration inferred from the nitrogen content. Consequently, the addition of chemicals rich in nitrogen can artificially increase the apparent protein and thus the price demanded. In this note, the use of the DairyGuard™ Milk Powder Analyzer and the novel Adulterant Screen™ algorithm to detect seven potential adulterants in milk powder at levels well below 1% is described, without any time-consuming PLS or other chemometric calibrations.