Med. Weter. 73 (4), 214-219, 2017

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Anna Madejska, Mirosław Michalski, Jacek Osek
Biogenic amines in rennet ripening cheeses as a health risk to consumers
Biogenic amines are nitrogen compounds which are products of the decarboxylation of free amino acids. They are produced with the participation of bacterial microflora producing enzymes, and they may be introduced together with food into the human body. The highest amounts of biogenic amines are found in meat, fish and cheeses. Consumption of products containing biogenic amines can cause food poisoning and allergies in consumers. The most common amines in cheeses are tyramine, histamine, putrescine, cadaverine and 2-phenylethylamine. The formation of amines depends on the technology of food production, storage conditions (temperature, time, pH, moisture), the quality of the raw materials (the content of free amino acids, proteins, salts, sugars) and the presence of microorganisms producing decarboxylases. This article describes different types of biogenic amines, their formation, detection methods and health risks to consumers. Information on the harmfulness of biogenic amines and on factors conducive to their production may help prevent poisoning with these compounds.
Key words: biogenic amines, cheeses, toxicity, food safety