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Dietary exposure assessment of putrescine and cadaverine and derivation of tolerable levels in selected foods consumed in Austria

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Biogenic amines (histamine, tyramine, putres-cine, cadaverine, agmatine, spermidine and spermine) are nitrogenous compounds. They occur naturally in living organisms and are involved in many biological processes. Nonetheless, high amounts in food may be hazardous to human health. The diamines putrescine and cadaverine in food can potentiate the effects of simultaneously ingested histamine. In protein-rich foods, high concentrations of these diamines are indicative for hygienic deficiencies in the food chain. Even though being formed endogenously and being essential for some physiological metabolic pathways, both diamines are known as precursors for car-cinogenic nitrosamines. Putrescine also plays a certain role in tumour growth. Nevertheless, no tolerable levels in foods have been established so far. The present study suggests tolerable levels in cheese, fermented sausages, fish, sauerkraut and seasonings that are based on toxico-logical threshold levels, occurrence of diamines in foods and food consumption in Austria. Average daily intake of putrescine via fermented food was calculated to be 6.8 (female adults) and 8.8 (male adults) mg per person. Respective numbers for cadaverine were 9.8 and 11.6 mg per person and day. For putrescine, proposed maximum tolerable levels for sauerkraut, fish, cheese, fermented sausages and seasonings are 140, 170, 180, 360 and 510 mg/kg, respectively. Likewise, for cadaverine, in sauerkraut, fish, cheese, fermented sausages and season-ings, maximum tolerable levels are 430, 510, 540, 1,080 and 1,540 mg/kg, respectively. These limits can be met by current manufacturing practices, as ascertained from the results of our own studies and from literature. Admittedly, only few data are published on toxicological threshold levels of these diamines, which mean that these tolerable levels are associated with some uncertainty.
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ORIGINAL PAPER
Dietary exposure assessment of putrescine and cadaverine
and derivation of tolerable levels in selected foods consumed
in Austria
Elke Rauscher-Gabernig Robert Gabernig
Werner Brueller Roland Grossgut
Friedrich Bauer Peter Paulsen
Received: 17 January 2012 / Revised: 23 April 2012 / Accepted: 2 May 2012
ÓSpringer-Verlag 2012
Abstract Biogenic amines (histamine, tyramine, putres-
cine, cadaverine, agmatine, spermidine and spermine) are
nitrogenous compounds. They occur naturally in living
organisms and are involved in many biological processes.
Nonetheless, high amounts in food may be hazardous to
human health. The diamines putrescine and cadaverine in
food can potentiate the effects of simultaneously ingested
histamine. In protein-rich foods, high concentrations of
these diamines are indicative for hygienic deficiencies in
the food chain. Even though being formed endogenously
and being essential for some physiological metabolic
pathways, both diamines are known as precursors for car-
cinogenic nitrosamines. Putrescine also plays a certain role
in tumour growth. Nevertheless, no tolerable levels in
foods have been established so far. The present study
suggests tolerable levels in cheese, fermented sausages,
fish, sauerkraut and seasonings that are based on toxico-
logical threshold levels, occurrence of diamines in foods
and food consumption in Austria. Average daily intake of
putrescine via fermented food was calculated to be 6.8
(female adults) and 8.8 (male adults) mg per person.
Respective numbers for cadaverine were 9.8 and 11.6 mg
per person and day. For putrescine, proposed maximum
tolerable levels for sauerkraut, fish, cheese, fermented
sausages and seasonings are 140, 170, 180, 360 and
510 mg/kg, respectively. Likewise, for cadaverine, in
sauerkraut, fish, cheese, fermented sausages and season-
ings, maximum tolerable levels are 430, 510, 540, 1,080
and 1,540 mg/kg, respectively. These limits can be met by
current manufacturing practices, as ascertained from the
results of our own studies and from literature. Admittedly,
only few data are published on toxicological threshold
levels of these diamines, which mean that these tolerable
levels are associated with some uncertainty.
Keywords Putrescine Cadaverine Exposure
assessment Tolerance levels Fermented food
Introduction
Biogenic amines are important nitrogenous compounds in
plant, microbial and animal cells and therefore can be
detected in raw as well as in processed foods [1]. They may
be formed by bacterial activity during fermentation or
spoilage. Food poisoning has been associated with hista-
mine and tyramine, in particular histamine in certain fish
species or histamine and tyramine in cheese [24].
Symptoms that can occur after excessive oral intake of
biogenic amines include nausea, respiratory distress, hot
flush, sweating, heart palpitations, headache, bright red
rash, burning sensations in the mouth and alterations in
blood pressure [5]. Putrescine and cadaverine are often
mentioned as potentiators of the effects of histamine, for
example, in the case of scombroid fish poisoning [2,6,7].
Furthermore, putrescine is also related to tumour growth
E. Rauscher-Gabernig (&)W. Brueller R. Grossgut
Data, Statistics and Risk Assessment, Austrian Agency
for Health and Food Safety, Spargelfeldstrasse 191,
1220 Vienna, Austria
e-mail: elke.rauscher-gabernig@ages.at
R. Gabernig
Institute for Food Safety Vienna, Austrian Agency for Health
and Food Safety, Spargelfeldstrasse 191, 1220 Vienna, Austria
F. Bauer P. Paulsen
Institute of Meat Hygiene, Meat Technology and Food Science
in the Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public
Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna,
Veterinaerplatz 1, 1210 Vienna, Austria
123
Eur Food Res Technol
DOI 10.1007/s00217-012-1748-1
[8]. In addition, putrescine and cadaverine can form car-
cinogenic nitrosamines with nitrite in meat products [9].
In contrast to histamine, where European legislation
defined maximum limits in sea fish species rich in histidine
[10] and also the US Food and Drug Administration
specified limits in fish [11], no tolerable levels for putres-
cine and cadaverine in foods have been elaborated yet.
However, national limits can be established, based on the
principles of risk assessment. This may be achieved by
relating the amounts of orally administered amines that do
not cause health effects to amounts of food consumed, as
our group has already demonstrated for histamine, tyra-
mine and phenylethylamine in fermented sausages, fish and
cheese [1214].
The aim of this work was to derive tolerable levels of
putrescine and cadaverine in fermented food taking into
account available data on toxicity, occurrence and food
consumption. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to
establish tolerable maximum levels for putrescine and
cadaverine based on toxicological information and con-
sumption habits. The approach we used complies with the
risk assessment procedure as outlined in Guideline 30 of
the Codex Alimentarius Commission [15]. These levels
may be a basis for food experts and risk managers to draw
conclusions related to food safety according to European
Regulation 178/2002 [16].
Materials and methods
Hazard identification and characterisation
Putrescine and cadaverine are diamines that are formed
either during de novo polyamine biosynthesis or by
decarboxylation of the amino acids ornithine/arginine and
lysine, respectively [17]. Decarboxylases are produced by
various bacterial species [1,18]. Cadaverine and putrescine
formation is common among Enterobacteriaceae, but with
considerable intraspecies variability [19]. Due to its role as
precursor of spermidine and spermine, putrescine is
sometimes ranked among polyamines [20].
After a putrescine test meal, the recovery in blood of
volunteers was approximately 20 %, suggesting that
putrescine absorbed from the lumen is metabolised in the
intestinal wall, in the liver, or both, and that only a small
proportion of these metabolites spills over into the systemic
circulation [21,22]. Diamine oxidase is the major enzyme
responsible for the detoxification of putrescine and
cadaverine by oxidative deamination within the intestinal
mucosa and plays a key role in the general protective
mechanism against pathologic accumulation of diamines in
vertebrate tissues [1,18,23].
With regard to excretion, acetyltransferases specifically
acetylate diamines with acetyl-CoA as a cosubstrate. In
urine samples from healthy volunteers, monoacetylputres-
cine was the major metabolite of putrescine excreted.
Cadaverine, however, was mainly present as free diamine
[24].
Putrescine and cadaverine are pharmaco-/toxicody-
namically less active than histamine and tyramine. Adverse
effects include hypotension, bradycardia, lockjaw and
paresis of the extremities [7,25]. Furthermore, putrescine
and cadaverine can react with nitrite to form carcinogenic
nitrosamines in meat products [9].
An important effect of putrescine and cadaverine is the
potentiation of toxicity of other amines, especially hista-
mine [26,27], even though for this effect, no specific levels
of the two diamines in food could be established. More-
over, the toxicity will depend on quantitative and qualita-
tive factors associated with the food itself. Also individual
factors are relevant, like susceptibility and health status of
consumers [28].
Putrescine is also involved in the regulation of cell
growth, cell division and tumour promotion [25,29].
Therefore, the amounts of putrescine have to be tightly
regulated by the organism to avoid dysregulation of
physiological functions [30]. Polyamine contents were
found to be higher in malignant cells than in equivalent
normal cells [31]. Based on these observations, a poly-
amine-reduced diet and partial intermittent intestinal tract
decontamination with antibiotics were proposed for cancer
patients [32,33].
Dose–response characteristics
In contrast to histamine, tyramine and phenylethylamine,
no human dose–response data in regard to acute toxic
effects of dietary putrescine and cadaverine are available,
and only a limited number of animal studies have been
published [28].
In a subacute oral toxicity study with Wistar rats, for
both cadaverine and putrescine, the no-observed-adverse-
effect level (NOAEL) was found to be 180 mg/kg body
weight (bw)/day [34]. Based on this value, for both dia-
mines, a toxicological threshold level in terms of a refer-
ence dose of 1.8 mg/kg bw/day can be derived, taking into
consideration an uncertainty factor of 100 for inter and
intraspecies differences.
Putrescine was also tested in a 90-day subchronic oral
toxicity study with Sprague–Dawley rats, but at the given
doses, no effects could be observed. Based on the highest
dose of putrescine of 56 mg/kg bw/day, a provisional
acceptable daily intake (PADI) of 0.6 mg/kg bw/day was
calculated by applying a safety factor of 100 [35].
Eur Food Res Technol
123
Concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine in food
samples from the Austrian market
Data on concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine in
foods from the Austrian market originate from surveys
conducted by the food control laboratories of the Austrian
Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) from 2000 to
2011. In the nine provinces of Austria, retail samples of
foods were taken by the official food inspectors according
to the national sampling plan. All samples were taken
randomly from Austrian retail sources and did not neces-
sarily reflect food preferences as defined in the consumer
basket.
All food samples were analysed by high-pressure liquid
chromatography with fluorescence detection using the
reference method L 10.00-5 for the determination of bio-
genic amines in fish and fish products of the Official Col-
lection of Methods [36]. In brief, biogenic amines were
extracted with dilute perchloric acid, and the extracts were
directly used for reversed-phase high-pressure liquid
chromatography, with fluorescence detection after online
derivatisation using o-phthaldialdehyde. The limit of
quantification was 10 mg/kg and 0.1 mg/L for solid and
liquid foods, respectively.
Food consumption data
Exposure assessment was performed using consumption
data from a food consumption survey conducted within the
scope of the Austrian Nutrition Report 2003 [37]. Food
consumption data of male and female adults were collected
by a 24-h recall. A total of 1,568 females and 1,013 males
completed the survey. Mean body weights were 60 kg for
female adults aged 19–65 years and 70 kg for male adults
aged 19–65 years.
Exposure assessment
Dietary exposure to putrescine and cadaverine was
expressed as milligrammes of putrescine and cadaverine
ingested per day (mg/day). To this end, average con-
sumption data for a particular food item in grammes per
day (g/day) [37] were multiplied with average and maxi-
mum concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine (mg/kg)
found in fermented food in Austria. Average consumption
data of two consumer groups, female adults and male
adults, were used. The standard deterministic method to
calculate exposure can be described by the following
formula:
E¼CO
where Eexposure to putrescine or cadaverine per person in
mg/day; Caverage consumption of food item in g/day [37];
Oaverage or maximum concentration of putrescine or
cadaverine in food in mg/kg.
Total exposure to putrescine and cadaverine was cal-
culated by the addition of exposures via individual food
items.
The maximum concentrations in food were taken from
samples evaluated by food experts as compliant with
general food law [16], samples with obvious signs of
sensory spoilage were, thus, not considered. Due to a lack
of data for fermented vegetables and seasonings, data
published by Ten Brink et al. [5] and Ibe et al. [38] were
used.
Derivation of maximum tolerable levels of putrescine
and cadaverine in food
As mentioned above, it is unknown, which concentra-
tions of putrescine and cadaverine are able to potentiate
the effects of simultaneously ingested histamine or
other amines. Thus, only an assessment of exposure to
single amines can be made. In contrast to hista-
mine, tyramine and phenylethylamine, the amounts of
putrescine and cadaverine in food causing adverse
health effects in humans are not defined yet. Maximum
tolerable levels of putrescine and cadaverine for cheese,
fermented sausages, fish, sauerkraut and seasonings
were calculated by relating the PADI of 0.6 mg/kg bw/
day for putrescine and the toxicological threshold
level of 1.8 mg/kg bw/day for cadaverine to high
amounts of foods typically consumed (95th percentile
of consumption).
These calculated tolerable levels were then compared to
concentrations of diamines in food actually reported and to
maximum possible levels.
Derivation of maximum possible levels of putrescine
and cadaverine in food
Similar to previous studies on histamine, tyramine and
phenylethylamine [1214], maximum possible concentra-
tions of putrescine and cadaverine in foods were defined as
concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine resulting from
a 100 % conversion of ornithine/arginine and lysine in the
food considered. Typical concentrations of ornithine/argi-
nine and lysine reported in the Food Composition and
Nutrition Tables [39] or in scientific literature were mul-
tiplied by the ratios of molar weights of putrescine/orni-
thine, putrescine/arginine and cadaverine/ornithine, that is,
by 0.667, 0.506 and 0.699, respectively. These contents
were then compared to published data on amine concen-
trations in the respective food and to the calculated maxi-
mum tolerable levels.
Eur Food Res Technol
123
Results and discussion
Concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine in food
samples from the Austrian market
Of the 254 food samples tested for putrescine, 51 % (130 in
total) contained quantifiable amounts of putrescine. The
highest concentrations were found in grated cheese, fer-
mented poultry sausage and pickled herring, with 725, 554
and 495 mg/kg, respectively. Besides ripened cheeses,
fermented sausages and fermented sea fish, maximum
putrescine concentrations above 200 mg/kg were found in
sea fish dishes, cured meat, cooked sausages and fermented
vegetables. Maximum levels in the range of 10–80 mg/kg
putrescine were quantified in fresh and frozen sea fish,
canned sea fish, freshwater fish, red wine and noni juice.
Among alcoholic beverages, red wine showed the highest
mean value of 12.4 mg/L, whereas in others (beer, wine
other than red wine and punch extract), maximum amounts
were below 10 mg/L. Highest mean concentrations were
observed in fermented sausages and cured meat with 182
and 109 mg/kg putrescine, respectively. Putrescine was not
detected in shrimps (Table 1).
Cadaverine was detected in 37 % (95 in total) of the
food samples. The highest concentrations were found in
salted mackerel, grated cheese and pickled herring, which
were 2,600, 1,353 and 790 mg/kg, respectively. Besides
ripened cheese and fermented sea fish, maximum cadav-
erine concentrations above 200 mg/kg were found in
freshwater fish, cured meat and fermented sausages.
Maximum levels ranging from 100 to 200 mg/kg cadav-
erine were quantified in fresh and canned sea fish. Sea fish
dishes, cooked sausages and fermented vegetables showed
maximum amounts of cadaverine between 10 and 80 mg/
kg. In alcoholic beverages like wine and beer, and in noni
juice, maximum amounts of cadaverine did not exceed
10 mg/L. In fermented sea fish and ripened cheese, highest
average concentrations were 174 and 122 mg/kg cadaver-
ine, respectively. Within alcoholic beverages, beer showed
the highest mean value of 1.8 mg/L. No cadaverine was
detected in shrimps and punch extract (Table 1).
Exposure assessment
Intake of putrescine via fermented food
For female adults, the average daily intake of putrescine
via fermented food is 6.8 mg per person (Table 2). Via
consumption of fermented fish, the expected intake of
putrescine for women is 1.6 and 6.8 mg/day for average
and maximum putrescine concentrations in fermented fish,
respectively. For cheese, fermented sausages, fermented
vegetables (sauerkraut) and seasonings, the corresponding
values are 2.8 and 16.7 mg/day, 0.6 and 1.1 mg/day, 0.6
and 2.3 mg/day, and 0.1 and 0.7 mg/day. Intake of
putrescine for female adults is 1 mg/day for red wine with
average and 3.7 mg/day with maximum putrescine con-
centrations (Table 2).
For male adults, the average daily intake of putrescine
via fermented food is 8.8 mg per male adult (Table 2). Via
consumption of fermented fish, the expected intake of
putrescine for men is 1.8 and 7.8 mg/day for average and
maximum putrescine concentrations in fermented fish,
respectively. For cheese, fermented sausages, fermented veg-
etables (sauerkraut) and seasonings, the corresponding values
are 3.3 and 19.2 mg/day, 1 and 1.9 mg/day, 1.1 and 3.9 mg/
day, and 0.2 and 1 mg/day. Intake of putrescine for male adults
is 1.3 mg/day for red wine with average and 5.1 mg/day with
maximum putrescine concentrations (Table 2).
Intake of cadaverine via fermented food
For female adults, the average daily cadaverine intake via
fermented food is 9.8 mg per person (Table 2). Average
consumption of fermented fish leads to a cadaverine intake
from 3.1 mg/day (average concentration) to 6 mg/day
(maximum concentration). For cheese, fermented sausages,
fermented vegetables (sauerkraut) and seasonings, the
corresponding values are 6 and 20 mg/day, 0.3 and 1.8 mg/
day, 0.3 and 1.3 mg/day, and 0.03 and 0.1 mg/day. Intake
of cadaverine by women is 0.05 mg/day for red wine with
average and 0.3 mg/day with maximum cadaverine con-
centration (Table 2).
For male adults, the average daily cadaverine intake via
fermented food is 11.6 mg per person (Table 2). Average
consumption of fermented fish results in a cadaverine
intake of 3.6 mg/day (average concentration) or 6.9 mg/
day (maximum concentration). For cheese, fermented
sausages, fermented vegetables (sauerkraut) and season-
ings, the corresponding values are 6.9 and 23.1 mg/day, 0.5
and 3 mg/day, 0.5 and 2.2 mg/day, and 0.04 and 0.1 mg/
day. Intake of cadaverine is 0.06 mg/day for red wine with
average and 0.4 mg/day with maximum cadaverine con-
centration (Table 2).
Derivation of maximum tolerable levels of putrescine
and cadaverine in food
Maximum tolerable levels of putrescine in food
Based on the Austrian consumption data and the PADI, the
maximum tolerable putrescine level for fish is proposed to
be at 170 mg/kg. Similarly, maximum tolerable levels for
cheese, fermented sausages, sauerkraut and liquid season-
ings are calculated to be 180, 360, 140 and 510 mg/kg,
respectively (Table 3).
Eur Food Res Technol
123
Table 1 Concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine in foods from the Austrian market originating from surveys conducted from 2000 to 2011
Product nMin
a
(mg/kg)
Mean
(mg/kg)
Max
b
(mg/kg)
%
[LOQ
c
%
[100
%
[200
%
[300
%
[400
%
[500
%
[1,000
Putrescine 254 51
Sea fish
Fresh or frozen 26 \LOQ \LOQ43 13 ––––––
Canned 70 \LOQ \LOQ59 17 ––––––
Fermented 24 \LOQ 90 495 71 25 21 8 4
Dishes (salad, pizza, tapas) 8 \LOQ 65 435 63 13 13 13 13
Sea food (shrimp) 2 \LOQ \LOQ \LOQ– ––––––
Freshwater fish 9 \LOQ22 78 56 ––––––
Ripened cheese 23 \LOQ 58 725 26 17 9 9 4 4 –
Meat products
Cured meat 26 13 109 410 100 39 12 4 4
Cooked sausages 9 \LOQ 29 215 22 11 11 –
Fermented sausages 24 \LOQ 182 554 92 79 46 13 4 4
Fermented vegetables 1 – – 310 ––––––
Alcoholic beverages
Beer 5 0.4 1.9 5.2 100 ––––––
Red wine 15 2.6 12.4 48 100 ––––––
Wine, other than red wine 8 0.6 1.8 4.5 100 ––––––
Punch extract 2 0.5 0.5 0.5 100 ––––––
Novel food
Noni juice 2 2.9 12.6 22.2 100 ––––––
Cadaverine 254 37
Sea fish
Fresh or frozen 27 \LOQ8 2007 4–––––
Canned 70 \LOQ11 19930 3–––––
Fermented 23 \LOQ 174 2,600 39 13 13 13 9 9 4
Dishes (salad, pizza, tapas) 8 \LOQ12 73 25 ––––––
Sea food (shrimp) 2 \LOQ \LOQ \LOQ– ––––––
Freshwater fish 10 \LOQ 93 434 30 30 20 20 10 –
Ripened cheese 23 \LOQ 122 1,353 39 22 13 13 13 9 4
Meat products
Cured meat 26 \
LOQ25 40058 444–––
Cooked sausages 9 \LOQ17 79 33 ––––––
Fermented sausages 24 \LOQ 95 529 50 12 17 8 4 4
Fermented vegetables 1 – – 11 ––––––
Alcoholic beverages
Beer 5 0.3 1.8 3.5 100 ––––––
Red wine 14 \LOQ0.6 4 64 ––––––
Wine, other than red wine 8 \LOQ \LOQ0.3 25 ––––––
Punch extract 2 \LOQ \LOQ \LOQ0 ––––––
Novel food
Noni juice 2 9.3 9.4 9.5 100 ––––––
a
Min =minimum concentration
b
Max =maximum concentration
c
LOQ =Limit of quantification: 10 mg/kg and 0.1 mg/L in solid and liquid food, respectively
Eur Food Res Technol
123
Table 2 Average and maximum putrescine and cadaverine intake via fermented foods by female and male adult population based on 60 and 70 kg body weight, respectively [37]
Food category Women Men
Average
consumption
(g/day)
Average
occurrence
(mg/kg)
Average
intake
(mg/day)
Maximum
occurrence
(mg/kg)
Maximum
intake
(mg/day)
Average
consumption
(g/day)
Average
occurrence
(mg/kg)
Average
intake
(mg/day)
Maximum
occurrence
(mg/kg)
Maximum
intake
(mg/day)
Putrescine
Fermented fish 18 90 1.6 380 6.8 20.5 90 1.8 380 7.8
Cheese 49 58 2.8 340 16.7 56.5 58 3.3 340 19.2
Fermented
sausages
3.4 182 0.6 325 1.1 5.7 182 1 325 1.9
Fermented
vegetables
(sauerkraut)
4.2 154 0.6 550 2.3 7 154 1.1 550 3.9
Seasonings (soy
sauce)
3.3 45.2 0.1 206 0.7 5 45.2 0.2 206 1
Red wine 77 12.4 1 48 3.7 106 12.4 1.3 48 5.1
Sum putrescine
per day
6.8 31.3 8.8 38.8
Cadaverine
Fermented fish 18 174 3.1 335 6 20.5 174 3.6 335 6.9
Cheese 49 122 6.0 408 20 56.5 122 6.9 408 23.1
Fermented
sausages
3.4 95 0.3 529 1.8 5.7 95 0.5 529 3
Fermented
vegetables
(sauerkraut)
4.2 73 0.3 311 1.3 7 73 0.5 311 2.2
Seasonings (soy
sauce)
3.3 7.8 0.03 17.1 0.1 5 7.8 0.04 17.1 0.1
Red wine 77 0.6 0.05 4 0.3 106 0.6 0.06 4 0.4
Sum cadaverine
per day
9.8 29.5 11.6 35.6
Eur Food Res Technol
123
Maximum tolerable levels of cadaverine in food
Considering national consumption data and the toxico-
logical threshold level calculated for cadaverine, the
estimated tolerable level of cadaverine in fish is 510 mg/
kg. Similarly, maximum tolerable levels for cheese, fer-
mented sausages, sauerkraut and liquid seasonings are
540, 1,080, 430 and 1,540 mg/kg, respectively (Table 3).
Validation of dietary exposure to putrescine
and cadaverine
Putrescine
To validate results of exposure assessment, putrescine
intake was compared to previously published data on die-
tary exposure to putrescine in Austria [40], indicating an
average intake of putrescine of 0.15, 1.13, 0.7, 0.6 and
0.09 mg/day for fish and fish products, matured cheese,
fermented sausages, fermented vegetables and wine,
respectively. These data are comparable to average intakes
of 1.6, 2.8, 0.6, 0.6 and 1 mg/day by female adults and to
average intakes of 1.8, 3.3, 1, 1.1 and 1.3 mg/day by male
adults assessed in this study (Table 2). The higher amounts
ingested with fish, cheese and wine in the present work can
be explained on the one hand by higher average putrescine
concentrations in the data set used and on the other hand by
differences in consumption data due to different population
groups.
Recently, a European exposure assessment for putres-
cine was conducted by the European Food Safety Authority
(EFSA) [28]. For Austria, the one-day cumulative exposure
taking into consideration high consumption and high
occurrence was calculated to be 78 mg. However, this
cannot be compared directly to the calculations presented
in this study. In the EFSA assessment, other products
beside fermented foods were also included, and individual
consumption data were available.
Cadaverine
Average intake of cadaverine by the Austrian population
wasfirstestimatedbyBaueretal.[40], reporting an
average intake of cadaverine due to consumption of fish,
cheese, fermented sausages and fermented vegetables of
0.07, 2.09, 0.17 and 0.6 mg/day, respectively. Wine was
not considered relevant as cadaverine source. In our
study, the daily exposures for female adults are 3.1, 6,
0.3, 0.3 and 0.05 mg due to consumption of fish, cheese,
fermented sausages, fermented vegetables and wine,
respectively (Table 2). For male adults, the average
intake is 3.6, 6.9, 0.5, 0.5 and 0.06 mg/day due to con-
sumption of fish, cheese, fermented sausages, fermented
vegetables and wine, respectively. Only the intakes of
cadaverine due to fermented sausages are directly com-
parable. The other data are slightly divergent because of
considering different amine concentrations and con-
sumption data. Higher intake levels of cadaverine via fish
and wine consumption in the present work may be
explained by higher concentrations in the foods analysed.
In contrast, lower amounts of cadaverine in fermented
vegetables were used in the current study, hence leading
to lower intake. Cheese contributes the most to cadav-
erine intake in both studies. Differences to the study of
Bauer et al. [40] may also be caused by different con-
sumption data.
Table 3 Maximum tolerable
concentrations of putrescine and
cadaverine in cheese, fermented
sausages, fish and fish products,
sauerkraut, and seasonings,
based on toxicological threshold
levels and dietary habits in
Austria [37]
Food category High consumption Putrescine Cadaverine
Cheese
Consumption (g/day) 200
Maximum tolerable level (mg/kg food) 180 540
Fermented sausages
Consumption (g/day) 100
Maximum tolerable level (mg/kg food) 360 1,080
Fish and fish products
Consumption (g/day) 210
Maximum tolerable level (mg/kg food) 170 510
Sauerkraut
Consumption (g/day) 250
Maximum tolerable level (mg/kg food) 140 430
Seasonings
Consumption (g/day) 70
Maximum tolerable level (mg/kg food) 510 1,540
Eur Food Res Technol
123
In the EFSA exposure assessment, the Austrian one-day
cumulative exposure to cadaverine was 80 mg for high
consumption and high occurrence [28]. Due to differences
in the exposure assessment approach described above, also
the data for cadaverine cannot be compared directly.
Evaluation of maximum tolerable levels of putrescine
in food
Fish and fish products
In fish and fish products, the maximum tolerable level was
calculated to be 170 mg/kg putrescine (Table 3). Free
amino acid arginine is found in fresh white muscle of
mackerel and yellowtail in amounts of 70 and 87 mg/kg,
respectively, whereas no levels of ornithine were reported
[41]. These amounts would allow the formation of 35 and
44 mg/kg putrescine in mackerel and yellowtail, respec-
tively. It has to be taken into account that ornithine is also
an important precursor of putrescine and may contribute to
the total putrescine concentration in fish. Free ornithine
levels also vary, depending on fish species, from 10 to
50 mg/kg in hake and angler, respectively [42], which
would correspond to 7–33 mg/kg putrescine. Putrescine
concentrations in fish vary widely depending on the type of
fish species and storage conditions. Maximum levels con-
sidered by the EFSA assessment on biogenic amines in
food are 244 mg/kg in fermented fish meat and 337 mg/kg
in other fish and fish products [28]. However, in fermented
salted fish, even higher putrescine concentrations have
been reported ([200 mg/kg dry matter) [43] and 495 mg/
kg fresh matter in our study (Table 2). Regarding non-
fermented fish, the maximum tolerable level of 170 mg/kg
calculated in our study is to be exceeded only during
unfavourable storage conditions and spoilage [44]. All
samples of fresh, frozen and canned sea fish from the
Austrian market were well below the proposed maximum
level. Only 16 % of the samples contained quantifiable
concentrations, with a maximum of 59 mg/kg in canned
tuna (Table 1). In fermented fish products, the proposed
maximum level may not always be accompanied by sen-
sory spoilage. Seven out of 137 Austrian fish samples
exceeded the proposed tolerable level of 170 mg/kg, but
only three of them were assessed as spoiled by food
experts. Apparently, current manufacturing practices can
ensure that the proposed maximum level of 170 mg/kg for
fish and fish products will not be exceeded in most cases
(95 % of the samples in our study).
Cheese
In cheese, a tolerable putrescine level of 180 mg/kg was
calculated (Table 3). Maximum possible amount of
putrescine can be calculated by assuming 100 % conver-
sion of ornithine to putrescine. Ornithine is abundant in
cheese. Average amounts range from 550 to 720 mg/kg in
Swiss hard cheese [45]. Release of free ornithine increa-
ses linearly during the first 5 months of ripening. There-
fore, the daily increase in ornithine contents can range
from 4.5 to 6.8 mg/kg. Hence, after 5 months of ripening,
an amount of 675–1,020 mg/kg ornithine may accumulate
[46]. Complete conversion may lead to 450–680 mg/kg
putrescine. These values are comparable to the measured
maximum level of 670 mg/kg in hard cheese [47]. In
contrast, EFSA recently reported a maximum of
1,560 mg/kg in hard cheese [28]. Of Austrian cheese
samples from AGES, 26 % showed measurable concen-
trations of putrescine, with 9 % being above the proposed
maximum level. These results are consistent with those of
another recent survey of Austrian cheeses in which 3 out
of 58 samples would exceed the proposed limit of
180 mg/kg [48]. Therefore, it can be argued that current
manufacturing practice will usually yield products com-
plying with the proposed maximum putrescine level of
180 mg/kg.
Fermented sausages
With respect to fermented sausages, we calculated a
maximum tolerable putrescine level of 360 mg/kg
(Table 3). During ripening, its precursor amino acid
arginine can increase to amounts up to 2,850 mg/kg [49].
Assuming 100 % conversion, the maximum possible
putrescine concentration would be 1,440 mg/kg. This
concentration is comparable to the maximum level of
1,550 mg/kg [28]. However, the mean putrescine value in
fermented sausages was 84 mg/kg, and concentrations as
high as 1,440 mg/kg may occur rarely in practice. In
samples from Austrian surveys, 87 % of fermented sau-
sages contained less than 300 mg/kg putrescine, and only
one sample exceeded 500 mg/kg (Table 1). This, in turn,
wouldjustifyproposingfermentedsausagestobe
‘unsafe’’ when a limit of 360 mg/kg is exceeded.
Sauerkraut
For sauerkraut, a maximum tolerable level of 140 mg/kg
putrescine was derived (Table 3). In green cabbage,
1,000 mg/kg arginine is reported [39]. Assuming complete
conversion, approximately 500 mg/kg putrescine can be
formed during sauerkraut production. This calculated value
correlates well with the highest level of 550 mg/kg cited in
literature [50]. The single sample from the Austrian survey
containing 310 mg/kg putrescine exceeded the tolerable
level (Table 1). Thus, standardised sauerkraut production,
in particular with addition of starter cultures, should enable
Eur Food Res Technol
123
compliance with the proposed maximum tolerable level of
140 mg/kg putrescine.
Seasonings
From calculations in Table 3, maximum tolerable putres-
cine level would be 510 mg/kg for seasonings. Depending
very much on the type of sauces like fish and soy sauces,
on the kind of raw materials used and on the production
methods, levels can vary from non-detectable to 775 mg/kg
dry weight and non-detectable to 1,257 mg/kg dry weight
in soy sauces and fish sauces, respectively [51]. In fer-
mented soybean paste, levels of putrescine can reach
4,292 mg/kg [52]. According to the data in literature, in
most cases, a proposed maximum level of 510 mg/kg can
be met by current manufacturing practices.
Evaluation of maximum tolerable levels of cadaverine
in food
Fish and fish products
With respect to fish and fish products, a maximum tolerable
level of cadaverine of 510 mg/kg was calculated (Table 3).
Depending on fish species, lysine concentrations in fish
muscle can vary from 20,200 to 22,800 mg/kg [39], but
only a small fraction may be available as free amino acid.
For example, in mackerel and yellowtail, a concentration of
free lysine ranging from 190 to 550 mg/kg was measured
[41]; hence, 130–380 mg/kg cadaverine could be formed
by 100 % conversion. Levels up to 500 mg/kg cadaverine
were reported in hake after improper storage [53].
According to the EFSA Scientific Opinion on biogenic
amines in foods [28], in fermented fish meat, a maximum
and a mean of 356 and 17 mg/kg were reported from
European products. However, in Asian products, contents
may exceed even 1,000 mg/kg [54]. In the category ‘other
fish and fish products’’, maximum and mean levels were
1,690 and 31 mg/kg, respectively [28]. In the Austrian
survey, 39 % of the fermented sea fish samples contained
cadaverine above the limit of quantification, with a mean
concentration of 174 mg/kg (Table 1), but only two fer-
mented sea fish samples exceeded the proposed maximum
level of 510 mg/kg, both assessed as spoiled by food
experts. Thus, in general, the proposed maximum level
should only be exceeded with incorrect storage and spoil-
age of fish and fish products.
Cheese
For cadaverine in cheese, a maximum tolerable level of
540 mg/kg was calculated (Table 3). Its precursor lysine is
abundant in cheese. In Swiss hard cheese, average
concentrations were 5,120–6,020 mg/kg [45]. Free lysine
increases during the first 5 months of ripening up to an
amount of 2,160–4,490 mg/kg [46]. By complete conver-
sion, 1,510–3,140 mg/kg cadaverine may be formed. Such
concentrations were found in hard cheese with 3,170 mg/
kg [28]. Blue cheese, washed rind cheese, acid curd cheese
and hard cheese [28] can contain levels above the proposed
maximum tolerable level of 540 mg/kg. From the present
survey, 39 % of Austrian cheese samples had concentra-
tions above the limit of quantification, but only 9 %
exceeded the proposed maximum level (Table 1). Like-
wise, in only one out of 58 Austrian cheese samples
examined by Mayer et al. [48], cadaverine content above
540 mg/kg was found. Consequently, in most cases, cur-
rent manufacturing practice meets the proposed maximum
level of cadaverine of 540 mg/kg.
Fermented sausages
From the calculations in Table 3, the maximum tolerable
level of cadaverine was 1,080 mg/kg. In experimentally
manufactured sausages, concentrations of its precursor
lysine increased during ripening and reached levels as high
as 860 mg/kg [49]. Hundred per cent conversion to
cadaverine would result in a concentration of 600 mg/kg
that is about half of the reported maximum of 1,250 mg/kg
[28]. Thus, the proposed maximum tolerable level of
1,080 mg/kg can be exceeded in practice. However, all
samples of fermented sausages from recent surveys in
Austria met the proposed limit showing low levels of
cadaverine.
Sauerkraut
With respect to sauerkraut, a maximum tolerable level of
430 mg/kg cadaverine was calculated (Table 3). Assuming
complete conversion of lysine to cadaverine, 650 mg/kg
lysine in cabbage [39] could be converted to a maximum
cadaverine amount of 450 mg/kg. In food samples, the
maximum cadaverine content was also reported in the same
order of magnitude [50]. Therefore, the proposed maxi-
mum level of 430 mg/kg is not likely to be exceeded.
Literature data as well as own results indicate that this limit
can be achieved by current manufacturing practice.
Seasonings
For seasonings, a maximum tolerable level of 1,540 mg/kg
cadaverine was calculated (Table 3). Levels reported show
high variations from non-detectable to 1,429 mg/kg dry
weight and non-detectable to 170 mg/kg dry weight in fish
and soy sauces, respectively [51]. In recent analyses of
fermented soybean paste, a very high level of 3,235 mg/kg
Eur Food Res Technol
123
cadaverine was found in one sample [52]. Considering the
small amounts and low frequency of consumption of these
products, the relatively high maximum level of 1,540 mg/
kg would be justified.
Comparison of maximum tolerable levels to cited
quality criteria
Putrescine, contrary to cadaverine, is abundant in foods of
plant origin, and therefore, its content cannot always serve
as an indicator for quality criteria. In meat, fish and prod-
ucts thereof, high amounts of putrescine, equally to
cadaverine, are related to spoilage.
No maximum levels for putrescine and cadaverine in
food have been proposed yet. In most cases, maximum
amounts for the sum of biogenic amines are recommended
for quality criteria; hence, a total of 100–200 mg/kg bio-
genic amines in food are regarded as acceptable [7,55].
Spanjer and Van Roode [56] proposed a regulatory limit of
300 mg/kg for the sum of histamine, putrescine and
cadaverine in fish and fish products and of 900 mg/kg for
the sum of tyramine, histamine, putrescine and cadaverine
in cheese and sauerkraut.
In contrast, recommended values indicative for product
quality are lower. For example, for good quality sauerkraut,
maximum contents of 10, 20, 50 and 25 mg/kg have been
proposed for histamine, tyramine, putrescine and cadaver-
ine, respectively [50]. In fish, an increase in both diamines
has been observed during storage for a variety of fresh-
water (carp and trout [57,58]) as well as sea fish or fish
products [43]. Therefore, levels of cadaverine (chum sal-
mon [59]), putrescine (farmed trout [60]) or both diamines
[57] or an index calculated from the most abundant bio-
genic amines [61,62] have been proposed as quality cri-
teria. The proposed biogenic amine index, BAI =(mg/kg
putrescine ?mg/kg cadaverine ?mg/kg histamine)/
(1 ?mg/kg spermidine ?mg/kg spermine), takes into
account the changes in the amounts of biogenic amines
during storage of fish. A BAI above 10 can be considered
as an indication of quality loss [61,62]. Putrescine and
cadaverine levels in carp meat are proposed to serve as
chemical indicators for quality in terms of ‘‘freshness’’.
Decomposition in carp meat was apparent when putrescine
and cadaverine content exceeded 20 and 25 mg/kg,
respectively [57].
However, the aforementioned levels for putrescine and
cadaverine were recommended as quality criteria and not,
as in the present work, elaborated with a view on consumer
protection, that is, based on hazard assessments. The cal-
culations presented here refer to threshold levels based on
toxicological studies and consumption habits, and not to
sensory changes or spoilage of food. As for fish, our
Table 4 Comparison of reported maximum concentrations of putrescine and cadaverine with maximum tolerable levels for putrescine and
cadaverine
Food category Maximum concentrations (mg/kg) Tolerable level (mg/kg) Relevance of
tolerable level
in practice
e
Literature AGES survey
Putrescine
Ripened cheese 1,560
a
(hard cheese) 725 (grated cheese) 180 Relevant
Fermented sausages 1,550
a
554 (raw curd poultry sausage) 360 Relevant
Other Fish and fish products 337
a
59 (tuna in oil) 170 Relevant
Fermented fish 244
a
495 (pickled herring, spoiled) 170 Relevant
Sauerkraut 550
b
310 140 Relevant
Seasoning 1,257
c
(fish sauce) n.a.
d
510 Relevant
Cadaverine
Ripened cheese 3,170
a
(hard cheese) 1,353 (grated cheese) 540 Relevant
Fermented sausages 1,250
a
529 (Salami) 1,080 Relevant
Other Fish and fish products 1,690
a
200 (tuna, spoilage) 510 Relevant (spoilage)
Fermented fish 356
a
2,600 (salted mackerel, spoiled) 510 Relevant (spoilage)
Sauerkraut 311
b
11 430 Relevant
Seasoning 1,429
c
(fish sauce) n.a.
d
1,540 Relevant
a
EFSA [28]
b
Simon-Sarkadi [50]
c
Stute et al. [51]
d
n.a. not analysed
e
that is, reports indicate that market samples can actually reach or exceed the calculated tolerable levels
Eur Food Res Technol
123
proposed maximum tolerable level of 510 mg/kg cadav-
erine is in a range where spoilage can be noticed by sensory
testing and the product would be rejected by consumers.
Nevertheless, when the maximum tolerable levels are
compared to maximum contents in food reported in surveys
and literature, they seem to represent relevant criteria for
food experts to assess food samples (Table 4).
Limitations of this study
Only few toxicological studies that deal with putrescine
and cadaverine are appropriate to serve as a basis for
deriving tolerable daily intakes. For cadaverine and for
putrescine, only a subacute oral toxicity rat study and only
a single 90-day subchronic oral toxicity rat study could be
used for that purpose, respectively. Both data sets are of
limited value for long-term or life-time exposure of
humans and, therefore, should be interpreted with caution.
For fresh meat, it can be assumed that food with diamine
concentrations exceeding the calculated tolerable levels
will be recognised as spoiled by consumers due to offen-
sive odour and discoloration; however, this may not apply
to fermented products [63].
Conclusions
In absence of EU-wide legally binding limits for putrescine
and cadaverine in foods, national limits may be established,
provided that they are risk-based. This paper presents such
a risk-based approach. Based on Austrian food consump-
tion data and biogenic amine contents in foods from the
Austrian market, maximum tolerable levels of 140, 170,
180, 360 and 510 mg/kg putrescine were calculated for
sauerkraut, fish, cheese, fermented sausages and season-
ings, respectively. Similarly, tolerable cadaverine levels
were calculated to be 430, 510, 540, 1,080 and 1,540 mg/
kg in sauerkraut, fish, cheese, fermented sausages and
seasonings, respectively. These limits do not consider
possible interactions of putrescine and cadaverine with
other simultaneously ingested amines, due to a lack of data
on this issue. The mode of establishing tolerable levels
could be extended to other food groups than those con-
sidered in our study, provided that reliable consumption
data exist.
Acknowledgments The authors thank Frans J. M. Smulders for
comment on the manuscript and language revision.
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Eur Food Res Technol
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... A study by Rauscher-Gabernig et al. (2012), on food contaminated by putrescine and cadaverine diamines, showed that these amines can potentiate the effects of histamine if ingested simultaneously. Although formed endogenously and essential for some metabolic pathways, these diamines are known as precursors of carcinogenic nitrosamines. ...
... Cadaverine produces nitrosopiperidine, and putrescine produces nitrosopyrrolidine. These compounds are considered carcinogenic to several animal species and represent a potential risk to human health (De Mey et al. 2014;del Rio et al. 2019;Ladero et al. 2010;Rauscher-Gabernig et al. 2012;Shalaby 1996). ...
Article
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Cemetery leachate generated by the process of cadaveric decomposition is a significant contaminant of several matrices in the cemetery environment (soil, groundwater, and surface water). The biogenic amines cadaverine and putrescine stand out among the cemetery leachate contaminants, since they are potentially carcinogenic compounds. This review article presents a discussion of possible environmental impacts caused by the increase in deaths resulting from COVID-19 as its central theme. The study also aims to demonstrate the importance of considering, in this context, some climatic factors that can alter both the time of bodily decomposition and the longevity of the virus in the environment. Additionally, some evidence for the transmission of the virus to health professionals and family members after the patient’s death and environmental contamination after the burial of the bodies will also be presented. Several sources were consulted, such as scientific electronic databases (NCBI), publications by government agencies (e.g., ARPEN, Brazil) and internationally recognized health and environmental agencies (e.g., WHO, OurWorldInData.org), as well as information published on reliable websites available for free (e.g., CNN) and scientific journals related to the topic. The data from this study sounds the alarm on the fact that an increase in the number of deaths from the complications of COVID-19 has generated serious environmental problems, resulting from Cemetery leachate.
... In cheeses, the presence of free amino acids decarboxylating microorganisms and the synergistic effects of microorganisms and free amino acids, pH, salt, and ripening temperature were factors reported to affect the production of biogenic amines. Similarly, wine contains histamine, tyramine and putrescine in higher concentrations in wine, but cadaverine, phenylethylamine and isoamylamine in smaller amounts [53][54][55][56]. ...
Article
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Biogenic amines are decarboxylation products of amino acids and naturally they occur in living organisms and are involved in various biological processes. Nitrogenous compounds such as histamine, tyramine, putrescine, cadaverine, agmatine, spermidine and spermine are called biogenic amines and are found in raw and processed foods. Besides its role in physiological activity in human health, high quantities in food may be hazardous. Consumption of biogenic amines beyond its maximum permissible level could result in nausea, respiratory distress, hot flush, sweating, heart palpitations, headache, bright red rash, burning sensations in the mouth and alterations in blood pressure. In addition to its toxicity, in foods containing abundant amount of protein, the high concentrations of these diamines are indicative for hygienic deficiencies in the postharvest unit operations of agricultural products. Therefore, it is crucial to control the formation of biogenic amines during food processing.
... Cadaverine concentrations observed in this study were below the tolerable levels suggested for other food products (e.g. fish and fish products: 510 mg/kg) by Rauscher-Gabernig et al. (2012). The sudden increase in cadaverine at D11 and onwards, after a plateau observed in the concentration between D3-D8, reflected in overall the changes in the sensory and microbial quality that rendered the pork cutlets unacceptable for consumption at D13. ...
Article
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Food waste in perishable products calls for the development of cost-efficient and real-time freshness and shelf life assessment tools. The current study evaluated a newly developed cadaverine biosensor for its ability to assess the sensory freshness stage and microbial quality of modified atmosphere packed (MAP) pork cutlets under a realistic supply chain scenario. The experiment compared the cadaverine levels measured by the biosensor to liquid chromatography - tandem mass spectrometry (LC- MS/ MS) cadaverine concentrations, and associated these to the shelf life estimation and freshness states determined by sensory and microbial evaluations during an 18-day storage period (5 °C). Results underlined the potential of cadaverine as a freshness biomarker as well as the applicability of the biosensor as a shelf life prediction tool. This is supported by the correlations obtained between sensory odour freshness evaluation and total viable counts with biosensor cadaverine levels for which the R² obtained were 0.97 (<0.001) and 0.95 (<0.001), respectively.
... Other amines, such as putrescine and cadaverine, are also associated with histamine intoxication, as they favour the intestinal absorption and/or hinder its detoxification, by inhibiting the enzymes (mono amine or diamine oxidases and N-methyltransferases) involved in the oxidative biodegradation (Yadav, Nair, Sai, & Satija, 2019). Rauscher-Gabernig et al. (2012) proposed maximum tolerable levels of 180 and 540 mg kg À1 for putrescine and cadaverine in cheeses respectively. High concentrations of putrescine, spermidine, and spermine can even cause the development of cancers, as they react with nitrite to form carcinogenic nitrosamines (Nalazek-Rudnicka, Kubica, & Wasik, 2020). ...
Article
The presence of biogenic amines in cheeses is due to microbial enzymes showing decarboxylation or amination activity. They are generally low in raw milk, while in fermented or ripened cheeses and dairy products much higher concentrations can be found. This review focuses on the main factors associated with the raw material as well as the different technological processes affecting biogenic amine formation in these foods. Some innovative strategies are also described as important preventive measures to be recommended to operators engaged in the dairy sector.
... 12 The toxic effects of biogenic amines may be manifested by a variety of symptoms, including vomiting, headache, respiratory difficulties, a burning sensation in the mouth, arrhythmia, hypotensive episodes or hypertensive crisis. 18 These symptoms are particularly intense in the case of interaction with certain drugs, including antihistamines, antimalarials and other medications. 14 Reactions may be more pronounced in the presence of other types of amines, such as putrescine and cadaverine. ...
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Food-borne diseases have an important impact on public health. In recent years, epidemiological recording of diseases is ongoing, but more data are required for the assessment of food poisoning from biogenic amines. This article presents an outline of the consequences of biogenic amines in food, with an emphasis on histamine food poisoning and the foods which are most likely to pose a health risk from biogenic amines at high levels. Scombroid food poisoning (SFP) is a global food safety problem. Histamine intoxication in the form of food poisoning is the most toxic and the most frequently observed. The toxic effects of food-borne histamine can present with a variety of symptoms, including anaphylaxis, irritation, and nausea. The current legal limits for food content are presented, along with the preventive measures that businesses should take for the avoidance of accumulation of biogenic amines in foods at levels unsafe for consumer health.
Article
Biogenic amines are decarboxylation products of amino acids and naturally they occur in living organisms and are involved in various biological processes. Nitrogenous compounds such as histamine, tyramine, putrescine, cadaverine, agmatine, spermidine and spermine are called biogenic amines and are found in raw and processed foods. Besides its role in physiological activity in human health, high quantities in food may be hazardous. Consumption of biogenic amines beyond its maximum permissible level could result in nausea, respiratory distress, hot flush, sweating, heart palpitations, headache, bright red rash, burning sensations in the mouth and alterations in blood pressure. In addition to its toxicity, in foods containing abundant amount of protein, the high concentrations of these diamines are indicative for hygienic deficiencies in the postharvest unit operations of agricultural products. Therefore, it is crucial to control the formation of biogenic amines during food processing
Article
The present research focused on studying the biogenic amine and volatile compound profiles of fresh yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) and the resulted dry-cured product, the so-called “mojama”. This study aimed to evaluate how external factors such as the storage temperature in fishing vessels (EU regulation) and fishing season, may affect quality and food safety features. Nine biogenic amines were determined by HPLC–DAD following the official methodology and the volatile organic compounds profiles were analysed and quantified by HS-SPME–GC–MS. All the samples analysed in this study presented levels of histamine (from 0.00 to 9.49 mg/kg) far from those considered hazardous for human health (50 mg/kg for FDA and 100 mg/kg for EU) demonstrating the no or very limited impact of the factor considered in EU legislation regarding the storage temperatures in fishing vessels (–9 ºC and –18 ºC). From the volatile profiles, a total of 38 organic compounds were found in the samples, with aldehydes, alcohols and ketones as the predominant groups. Comparing the two storage temperatures, the fresh tuna loins stored at –9 °C showed higher concentrations of volatile compounds while no differences were detected in the dry-cured product, demonstrating the additional preservative characteristics given by the process.
Article
a A novel dual-emission ratiometric fluorescent sensor for biogenic amines (BAs) was prepared by simple mixing blue fluorescent carbon dots (CDs) and yellow fluorescent CdTe quantum dots (CdTe QDs). Based on different sensitive properties of pH, CdTe QDs and CDs were used as the response signal and internal reference signal, respectively. The developed ratiometric fluorescent sensor achieved quantitative analysis of eight kinds of BAs with rapid response (30 s) and low limits of detection (1.259–5.428 μM). Furthermore, color-tunable fluorescent test strips were constructed by easily assembling CDs and CdTe QDs onto filter paper. The obtained smart label showed a distinguishable fluorescent color variation from blue to green during the corruption of shrimp samples. The smart label with advantages of convenience and rapidness provided a method for visually monitoring the freshness of food samples.
Article
The risk of Procambarus clarkii eating safety attracts consumers’ big concern, but it has not been addressed properly. Therefore, this study was aimed to investigate eating safety and quality of live and dead Procambarus clarkii at different stages by total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N), biogenic amines (BAs), total aerobic plate counts (TPC) and microbiota. The results showed that in live Procambarus clarkii, TVB-N and TPC values were below the limit despite vitality, while cadaverine in gills, intestines, and glands (GIG) exceeded in articulo-mortis Procambarus clarkii. For the dead, it showed that Procambarus clarkii posed a high risk in eating safety within one to two days after death; and BAs of high risk were putrescine and cadaverine. The dominant microorganisms threatening eating safety and quality were potentially pathogenic bacteria of Citrobacter and Acinetobacter from the environment; and spoilage bacteria of Shewanella from viscera.
Article
Biogenic amines are a class of organic compounds formed in foods and beverages by enzymatic reactions or microbial decarboxylation of amino acids. Despite their benefits, in unusual concentrations, they are associated with hypertensive crises, neurological disorders and are precursors of compounds with cancer risk. Their abnormal levels are criteria for food spoilage and food safety. Tyramine is a biogenic amine found mainly in fermented foods as wine. Spoilage in the wine production process can increase tyramine concentration resulting in a harmful product to consumers. A fast, simple, and reliable method of tyramine detection in wine samples is necessary to ensure quality control. As this analyte presents electroactivity, three electrochemical techniques and ten different brands of pencil carbon graphite electrodes were used to explore and optimize its oxidation. Differential pulse voltammetry and square wave voltammetry were efficient electrochemical techniques in the determination of tyramine with excellent linear range and low limit of detection. The method was tested for tyramine determination during the grape fermentation process. There are differences regarding tyramine concentration with different varieties of grapes and during the fermentation steps. The method was validated regarding precision, robustness, specificity, accuracy and provided excellent recovery rates (94.4–106.0%) for Brazilian red wines.
Article
Biogenic amines are important nitrogen compounds of biological importance in vegetable, microbial and animal cells. They can be detected in both raw and processed foods. In food microbiology they have sometimes been related to spoilage and fermentation processes. Some toxicological characteristics and outbreaks of food poisoning are associated with histamine and tyramine. Secondary amines may undergo nitrosation and form nitrosamines. A better knowledge of the factors controlling their formation is necessary in order to improve the quality and safety of food.
Article
Biogenic amines are natural contents in foods of plant and animal origin. They have live-conservating functions in higher organisms. Injurys after alimentary consuming could cause foremost by immoderate supply. Toxicologic significance possess histamine, tyramine, and phenylethylamine. Histamine-producing microbes are above all enterobacteriaceae. Critical conditions for rapid amine building have to estimate temperatures between 20 °C and 37 °C, pH-value at 5 to 7, and presence of more then 106 amine-producing germs per gram. Sodium chloride content of more then 5 % reduced histamine production. Tyramine were especially produced in sodium chloride or nitrite containing substrates by enterococci, lactobacilli, pediococci and other groups of germs. Both salts activates tyrosine decarboxylase. Histamine and tyramine degradation take place thorough in pH-value at 6 to 8 by pseudomonads, Serratia marcescens and Sarcina lutea. Actually amine contents in foods with naturally mixed flora are always comprehend as dynamic magnitude. Hygienic handling with foods prove against prevent unwelcome amine production.
Article
The contents of free amino acids, creatine, and trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) in some tissues of mackerel Scomber japonicus and yellowtail Seriola quinqueradiata were determined and compared. The levels of creatine and TMAO in the dark muscle were relatively high. Creatine and histidine were present in extremely large amounts in the white muscle. The heart was com-paratively rich in creating, while in the liver, the levels of glutamic acid and alanine were high. The spleen had very low levels of all compounds determined. The level of nonprotein nitrogen was highest in the white muscle, followed by the dark muscle and the heart, and lowest was in either the liver or the spleen. Similarities in pattern of the distribution of these compounds were computed on the basis of these data and data of taurine reported previously. It was indicated that the pattern for the white muscle differs greatly from those for the dark muscle and the internal organs.
Article
A liquid chromatographic (LC) analysis for the determination of seven amines, tyramine (Tym), histamine (Him), phenethylamine (Phm), putrescine (Put), cadaverine (Cad), spermidine (Spd) and spermine (Spm) in soybean paste (Miso), soy sauce (Shoyu) and its products was studied. The amines in the sample were extracted with 0.1N HCl and applied to a column of Amberlite CG-50 and derivatized with dansyl chloride for the application to the liquid chromatography. The LC separations were performed on a Finepak SIL C18S column with an acetonitrile-water elution gradient. The amines were confirmed by TLC for Him and by GC-MS for others with ethyloxycarbonyl derivatives. In the survey of commercial samples by this method, most of Miso samples and ann of Shoyu samples were found to contain these 7 amines. Tym and Him were determined in the range of nd-194, nd-177 μg/g in every kind of Miso, and 95.8-356, 62.8-232 μg/g in Shoyu and its products as average which were higher than the other amines. Shoyu, in general, had higher Him and Tym contents than Miso samples. However the contents of the other amines in both Shoyu and Miso samples were the same levels. It was considered that Tym, Him and Phm were produced by microorganism in a manufacturing process because these amines were not detected from such raw materials as koji (malted rice) and soy beans of Miso and Shoyu. Put, Cad, Spd and Spm were originated from the raw materials, because the contents of these amines in the samples were nearly the same as those of raw materials.