No, I am not talking about using your nose to sniff bad milk odor in grocery shelves for melamine contamination. The California-based company Electronic Sensor Technology (EST) said they have developed a method using their zNose product for detecting and measuring melamine in less than 3 minutes and without modifying the sample for testing.
EST CEO Teong Lim said the current cost of melamine testing per sample ranges from around $120 in the US to $145 in China. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) method reportedly requires 85 minutes of preparation before the 20 minute (GC-MS) testing. Other fast-screen method (LC/MS) takes 14.5 minutes after sample preparation, according to Mr. Lim.
Using zNose as a pre-screening tool will reduce sample testing costs as only samples that indicate melamine are subjected to the costly testing methods.
I was imagining an equipment that looks like a nose but I guess that will be bad for the company image...