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Melamine in Food Products

A Note About Melamine in Pet and Companion Animal Food Products 04/24/2007


The recent outbreak of severe kidney and liver illness in dogs and cats is a very serious issue for all animal caregivers. To date, it is believed that the poisoning is the result of melamine (and other related impurities) in wheat gluten imported from China.

Worse still, it now appears that the melamine (a chemical normally used in the manufacture of plastics) was added intentionally at the source, to increase the amount of nitrogen in the material, which would incorrectly make the material appear to have more protein by analysis. Melamine contains a lot of nitrogen by weight. Now there are internet hints that rice protein may be involved also.

At Finish Line®, we take the issue of the purity of our raw materials very seriously.

We do not use any wheat or rice gluten. We do use Corn Gluten, which is also a source of protein. To assure ourselves, and you, that the corn gluten is a safe and healthy source of protein for your horses, we contacted our supplier immediately. All of their corn products are sourced from midwestern US growers; no part of it is from China.

Additionally, Finish Line® is working on an analytical test method so that melamine can be tested for here at the Finish Line® laboratory, either by GC or HPLC. We hope to be able to test for this contaminant very shortly, and will keep you updated here at the Finish Line® website.

Nick Cinquino, Finish Line® R&D


UPDATE: 10/17/07 A few months ago, Finish Line® used an HPLC (liquid chromatograph) to develop a quantitative instrumental method for the detection of melamine in corn gluten. We detected no melamine in all of the inventory of corn gluten at our factory at that time.

Nick Cinquino, Finish Line® R&D