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Front Microbiol. 2012 May 28;3:180. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00180. eCollection 2012.

Factors influencing biogenic amines accumulation in dairy products.

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Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias, (IPLA - CSIC) Villaviciosa, Spain.


Fermented foods are among the food products more often complained of having caused episodes of biogenic amines (BA) poisoning. Concerning milk-based fermented foods, cheese is the main product likely to contain potentially harmful levels of BA, specially tyramine, histamine, and putrescine. Prompted by the increasing awareness of the risks related to dietary uptake of high biogenic amine loads, in this review we report all those elaboration and processing technological aspects affecting BA biosynthesis and accumulation in dairy foods. Improved knowledge of the factors involved in the synthesis and accumulation of BA should lead to a reduction in their incidence in milk products. Synthesis of BA is possible only when three conditions converge: (i) availability of the substrate amino acids; (ii) presence of microorganisms with the appropriate catabolic pathway activated; and (iii) environmental conditions favorable to the decarboxylation activity. These conditions depend on several factors such as milk treatment (pasteurization), use of starter cultures, NaCl concentration, time, and temperature of ripening and preservation, pH, temperature, or post-ripening technological processes, which will be discussed in this chapter.


biogenic amines; cheese; chemico-physical factors; pasteurization; producing microorganisms; ripening; starters

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