Melamine Food Safety SERS substrate
Thiram Food Safety SERS substrate
SERS Narcotics Police


Melamine is an organic base chemical widely used in plastics and adhesives. It is notoriously known for being a harmful food adulterant as it can boost food’s apparent protein content. In 2007, melamine was added to pet food sold in the United States which killed hundreds of domestic house pets. In 2008, the chemical was added to infant formula in China, leading to over 50,000 hospitalizations and several infant deaths.

The World Health Organization sets a safe allowable concentration for melamine in milk at 2.5 ppm and in infant formula at 1 ppm.

Spectra Plasmonics Ag-SERS substrates can detect melamine confidently at 1 ppm with greater sensitivity than our competitors. We have also demonstrated detection of melamine at 1 ppm in milk after a simple extraction process. 

Thiram spectra


Thiram is commonly used as a fungicide, ectoparasiticide and animal repellant in industry and agriculture. Thiram is toxic upon ingestion — it is a skin and mucous membrane irritant, hepatotoxic, neurotoxic, and teratogenic. The US Environmental Protection Agency dictates 7 ppm as the maximal residue limit (MRL) for thiram in food products.

Spectra Plasmonics Ag-SERS substrates can reproducibility detect thiram at ppb levels. We have also demonstrated trace detection in apple juice with no sample preparation.

For application inquiries for other pesticides, please contact us.


SERS can aid in the Raman analysis of narcotic samples in two ways:

  • Increasing the Raman signal in samples that are masked by high amounts of fluorescence.
  • Detecting trace amounts of cutting agents or other substances in the seized material.

Spectra Plasmonics SERS substrates can detect the following compounds in dilute amounts:

  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroine
  • Oxycodone
Cocaine spectra