Occurrence and Profiles of Melamine and Cyanuric Acid in Bovine Feed and Urine from China, India, and the United States

Melamine and cyanuric acid have been reported to occur in animal products. Nevertheless, information that pertains to the occurrence of melamine and cyanuric acid in cattle feed and urine is lacking. In this study, the occurrence of melamine and its three derivatives (i.e., cyanuric acid, ammeline, and ammelide) was determined in 183 bovine urine and 29 matched feed samples collected from China, India, and the United States. ∑Melamine (sum of four target compounds) was found in all urine samples at concentrations that ranged from 4.2 to 5280 ng/mL (median: 370 ng/mL); cyanuric acid was the major derivative, accounting for 97% of the total concentrations, followed by melamine (2.2%). The ubiquitous occurrence of ∑Melamine in feed (21–6230 ng/g) suggests that it is the major source of melamine and its derivatives in bovines. Urinary concentrations of melamine and cyanuric acid varied significantly among the three countries, with samples from China as having the highest concentrations, followed by the United States and India. The calculated cumulative daily intakes of melamine and cyanuric acid were at least 10-fold below the current tolerable daily intake recommended for humans. Our study provides evidence-based data on exposure patterns and sources of melamine and cyanuric acid in cattle.