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Food Addit Contam. 2007 Aug;24(8):820-32.

Changes in histamine and microbiological analyses in fresh and frozen tuna muscle during temperature abuse.

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Food Microbiology Unit, Microbiology Department, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece.


Temperature abuse of tuna (Thunnus alalunga) was carried out in order to assess the histamine buildup in fish-processing facilities where fish can be exposed to high temperatures for short periods of time. Histamine production was studied in tuna loins under different storage and abuse conditions. Tuna was stored at 0-2 degrees C, 3-4 degrees C, and 6-7 degrees C, and abused for 2 h daily at 20 degrees C and 30 degrees C for 7-12 days. Loins abused at 30 degrees C for 2 h daily contained potentially toxic histamine concentrations (67-382 mg kg(-1)) when stored at a low refrigeration temperature (0-2 degrees C), whereas when stored at 6-7 degrees C, the loins contained highly toxic histamine concentrations (544.5-4156.6 mg kg(-1)). Lower histamine concentrations (23-48 mg kg(-1) in loins stored at 0-2 degrees C and 124.7-2435.8 mg kg(-1) in loins stored at 6-7 degrees C) were observed in temperature-abused loins that were initially frozen. An increase over time was observed in most microbial counts tested. Bacteria isolated from the temperature-abused loins showed a varied ability of histamine production, with Morganella morganii, Klebsiella oxytoca, Staphylococcus hominis, and Enterococcus hirae being the most active histamine-producing bacteria.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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