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J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Mar 24;58(6):3512-6. doi: 10.1021/jf904205y.

Deposition of melamine in eggs from laying hens exposed to melamine contaminated feed.

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State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.


The deposition profile of melamine was studied in eggs obtained from laying hens fed melamine contaminated feed. A total of 180 laying hens were divided into five groups and were fed diets spiked with 0, 5, 25, 50, or 100 mg of melamine per kg of feed. Eggs collected on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 were analyzed by a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method, which was fully validated for melamine analysis prior to use. For each treatment group, the melamine level in the eggs was similar from day 1 to day 15 (P > 0.05), suggesting that laying hens did not accumulate melamine for later deposition in eggs. The average melamine concentrations in eggs were 0.00 (below limit of detection), 0.16, 0.47, 0.84, and 1.48 mg/kg for the 0, 5, 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg treatment groups, respectively, which demonstrated an apparent dose-response relationship, and a safety threshold of 164 mg/kg melamine in the feed of laying hen was estimated when a maximum tolerance level of 2.5 mg/kg melamine in egg was adopted. These results provide a scientific basis for the risk assessment of melamine in feeds fed to laying hens.

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