Milk-derived ingredients are widely used around the world in the manufacturing of nutritional products. They are prone to economically motivated adulteration with nitrogenous compounds such as melamine and its analogs in order to increase the nitrogen content of these ingredients. The need to rapidly screen milk-derived ingredients to detect adulteration is of paramount public health concern. A liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS)-based method using a single quadrupole mass spectrometer has been developed for the rapid frontline analysis of six nitrogenous protein adulterants, i.e. melamine, ammeline, ammelide, amidinourea, cyromazine and cyanuric acid, in three key milk-derived ingredients, i.e. whole milk powder, nonfat milk powder and whey protein concentrate.