Review on nanomaterial-based melamine detection

Muthaiah Shellaiah, Kien-Wen Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Illegal adulteration of milk products by melamine and its analogs has become a threat to the world. In 2008, the misuse of melamine with infant formula caused serious effects on babies of China. Thereafter, the government of China and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limited the use of melamine of 1 mg/kg for infant formula and 2.5 mg/kg for other dairy products. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also limited the daily intake of melamine of 0.2 mg/kg body weight per day. Many sensory schemes have been proposed by the scientists for carrying out screening on melamine poisoning. Among them, nanomaterial-based sensing techniques are very promising in terms of real-time applicability. These materials uncover and quantify the melamine by means of diverse mechanisms, such as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), aggregation, inner filter effect, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and self-assembly, etc. Nanomaterials used for the melamine determination include carbon dots, quantum dots, nanocomposites, nanocrystals, nanoclusters, nanoparticles, nanorods, nanowires, and nanotubes. In this review, we summarize and comment on the melamine sensing abilities of these nanomaterials for their suitability and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Aggregation
  • Colorimetric recognition
  • Composite materials
  • Electrochemical detection
  • Fluorescence resonance energy transfer
  • Fluorescent sensors
  • Food poisoning
  • Inner filter effect
  • Melamine
  • Milk products
  • Nanodots and nanoparticles
  • Nanomaterials
  • Surface-enhanced Raman scattering


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