Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
melamineAn organic base and trimer of cyanamide that is 67% nitrogen by weight. It has been used by some Chinese manufacturers to inflate the apparent protein content of foods and feeds, so that cheap ingredients can be passed off as concentrated proteins. While melamine itself is not toxic at low levels, in those cases in which adulteration was discovered nephrotoxic cyanuric acid had also been added.
A chemical derivative of urea, which when combined with formaldehyde is used to produce hard plastic laminates such as those used in countertops. Its chemical formula is C3H6N6. It has been used in foods, fertilizers, and other consumer products (such as animal feed) to increase their nitrogen content. When chemically complexed with cyanuric acid, it is toxic.