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Curr Microbiol. 2002 May;44(5):374-8.

Biogenic amine production by Oenococcus oeni.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Agrarie, Universit√† degli Studi di Firenze, Piazzale delle Cascine, 24-50144 Firenze, Italy.


The biogenic amine-producing capability of several Oenococcus oeni strains, originally isolated from different Italian wines, was determined. The amine-producing capability was quali-quantitatively variable among the strains: out of the 44 strains investigated under optimal growth conditions, more than 60% were able to produce histamine, at concentrations ranging from 1.0 to 33 mg/L, and about 16% showed the additional capability to form both putrescine and cadaverine, to different extents and variable relative proportions. The amine-producing behavior of the strains was confirmed under stress culture conditions, while performing malolactic fermentation. In wine, one randomly chosen strain was very effective in forming putrescine from ornithine. The formation of putrescine from arginine by some strains has been also demonstrated. Consequently, O. oeni can really and significantly contribute to the overall biogenic amine content of wines. Practical consequences of these findings are discussed.

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