We demonstrated a sensitive electrochemical method for the determination of non-electroactive melamine (Mel) using a modified glassy carbon electrode (GCE), with uric acid (UA) as the signal reporter. To increase the anodic response of UA, GCE was coated with Au–Ag nanoparticles and a Nafion thin film (Au–Ag/Nafion/GCE). The sensing mechanism was based on the competitive adsorption behavior of Mel on the Au–Ag/Nafion/GCE, which reduces the electroactive surface area of nanoparticles and thus hinders anodic response of UA. Under optimal conditions and the use of an analytical method of differential pulse voltammetry, this modified electrode detected Mel concentrations ranging from 2.5 to 70 nM, with a detection limit of 1.8 nM. The Au–Ag/Nafion/GCE demonstrated satisfactory reproducibility and stability, with relative standard deviations (RSDs) of 9.3% and 7.1%, respectively. The proposed electrochemical method was then successfully used to determine the Mel content in spiked milk powder and cat food samples, with RSDs of 1.7%–9.3% and recoveries of 92.4%–103.7%.

Abstract Image

A8_Graphical Abstract.jpg (51 kB)
Graphical Abstract

Highlights_20200505.pdf (182 kB)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.