Biogenic Amines as Risk Factors of Food Chain
Biogenic amines at higher doses have negative effects on the human organism. Some biogenic amines (e.g. putrescine, spermine, spermidine, cadaverine, histamine) are an essential component of living cells because they are involved in the regulation of nucleic acid and protein synthesis and membrane stabilization. Amines are produced by the decarboxylation of natural free amino acids. Decarboxylases are not common in bacteria but occur in species of many genera, particularly in Bacillus, Citrobacter, Clostridium, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Photobacterium, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Shigella and lactic bacteria of the Lactobacillus genera, Pediococcus and Streptococcus. Main factors influencing the biogenic amines formation are pH, water activity, storage time, temperature and salt content. Typical levels of biogenic amines in foods range from 10 mg/kg to 100 mg/kg. Occasionally, the amount of biogenic amines in food can exceed 1000 mg/kg.