TitleAre consumers aware of the risks related to Biogenic Amines in food?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationSubmitted
AuthorsRusso, P, Spano, G, Arena, MP, Capozzi, V, Fiocco, D, Grieco, F, Beneduce, L
KeywordsBiogenic Amine, Food fermentation, Lactic Acid Bacteria

Food-fermenting lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are generally considered to be not-toxinogenic and not-pathogenic. Some species of LAB, however, can produce biogenic amines. Biogenic amines (BA) are organic, basic, nitrogenous compounds, mainly formed by the decarboxylation of amino acids. BA are present in a wide range of foods and can occasionally accumulate in high concentrations. The presence of BA in foods has traditionally been used as an indicator of undesired microbial activity. Relatively high levels of certain BA have also been reported to indicate the deterioration of food products and/or their defective manufacture. The consumption of food containing large amounts of these amines can have toxicological consequences. Although there is no specific legislation regarding BA content in many fermented products, it is generally assumed that they should not be allowed to accumulate. The ability of microorganisms to decarboxylate amino acids is highly variable, often being strain-specific. Therefore, the detection of bacteria possessing aminoacid decarboxylase activity is of main importance to assess the risk of foods to contain biogenic amine and to prevent their accumulation in food products.