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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Nov 14;55(23):9514-9. Epub 2007 Oct 13.

Occurrence of biogenic amines and polyamines in spinach and changes during storage under refrigeration.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, Avinguda Joan XXII s/n, E-08028 Barcelona, Spain.


Biogenic amines and polyamines were studied in 18 market samples of spinach. Histamine and spermidine were detected in relatively high amounts in all samples within the ranges of 9.5-69.7 and 15.6-53.0 mg/kg, respectively. Other biologically active amines were either detected at low levels or not found at all. Changes in amine content during storage at 6 degrees C were studied. The content of most of the amines remained constant during storage, with the exception of spermidine and histamine. Spermidine showed a clear decreasing trend, whereas histamine significantly increased in all trials, but decreased at the end of the storage in two of the trials. Trials showing a decrease in histamine content also showed the highest spermidine decrease and recorded the highest pH values. Microbial loads throughout storage were also followed, with Pseudomonadaceae and Enterobacteriaceae being the predominant bacterial groups. Trials with higher microbial loads in initial samples also showed the highest histamine content in these samples. Potential explanations for both the formation and the degradation of histamine during storage are discussed.

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