Bioactive Amines: Aspects of Quality and Safety in Food


Presented in several types of food, bioactive amines are described as organic bases of low molecular weight. They have vasoactive, psychoactive and toxicological characteristics and constitute a potential health risk. The concentration of amines formed in foods depends on the type of microorganisms present, the action of decarboxylase enzymes produced by microorganisms on specific amino acids and favorable conditions for enzymatic activity. The presence of these chemical metabolites has been suggested as a quality indicator in routine analyzes for food production and marketing monitoring. The detection of bioactive amines can be performed by chromatographic methods, fluorometric and enzymatic kits. Bioactive amine formation can be prevented mainly through the adoption of good manufacturing practices, but the industry can also use other methods such as temperature control in the production chain, modified atmosphere packaging and food irradiation. This review aims to address the formation of bioactive amines in foods, emphasizing the formation and classification of these metabolites, aspects related to health, acceptable limits, detection methods and control methods used in the industry to ensure food safety and quality. The success of this approach is linked to the importance of bioactive amines as quality indicators, as well as the discussion on the development of methodologies for determining these substances and discussion of acceptable parameters in food.

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M. Rodriguez, C. Carneiro, M. Feijó, C. Júnior and S. Mano, "Bioactive Amines: Aspects of Quality and Safety in Food," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 5 No. 2, 2014, pp. 138-146. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.52018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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