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Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Sep;119:231-236. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.04.018. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

Detection of biogenic amines and microbial safety assessment of novel Meju fermented with addition of Nelumbo nucifera, Ginkgo biloba, and Allium sativum.

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Department of Energy and Materials Engineering, Dongguk University-Seoul, 30 Pildong-ro 1-gil, Seoul 04620, Republic of Korea.
Department of Food and Nutrition and Cook, Taegu Science University, Daegu 702-723, Republic of Korea.
Department of Bioresources and Food Science, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Konkuk University, Seoul 143701, Republic of Korea.
WCSL of Integrated Human Airway-on-a-Chip, Department of Biological Engineering, Inha University, 100 Inha-ro, Nam-gu, Incheon 22212, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
Department of Energy and Materials Engineering, Dongguk University-Seoul, 30 Pildong-ro 1-gil, Seoul 04620, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
Department of Food Science and Technology, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, 38541, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


Meju, a cooked and fermented soy bean based food product, is used as a major ingredient in Korean traditional fermented foods such as Doenjang. We developed a novel type of Meju using single and combined extracts of Allium sativum (garlic clove), Nelumbo nucifera (lotus leaves), and Ginkgo biloba (ginkgo leaves) at 1% and 10% concentrations to improve the safety of Meju-based fermented products. Biogenic amines (BAs) in protein-rich fermented food products pose considerable toxical risks. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of adding selected plant extracts in Meju samples during fermentation. Nine BAs, including tryptamine, 2-phenylethylamine, putrescine, cadaverine, agmatine, histamine, tyramine, spermidine and spermine, were isolated from Meju samples after sample derivatization with dansyl chloride and analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography. As a result, all tested Meju samples with added plant extracts showed total BAs levels in the range of 20.12 ± 2.03 to 118.42 ± 10.68 mg/100 g, which were below the safety limit set by various regulatory authorities (USFDA/KFDA/EFSA). However, among all tested Meju samples, LOM10 (Meju fermented with Nelumbo nucifera at 10% concentration) showed higher levels of BAs content than others either due to batch-to-batch variability or reduced beneficial microorganisms and/or due to increase in BA forming microorganisms. Also, none of the samples showed the aflatoxin level above the detection limit. Furthermore, all the tested Meju samples improved microbial safety as confirmed by the complete absence of Salmonella species and Staphylococcus aureus. However, some of the Meju samples showed the presence of coliforms (in range of 1.6 × 100-1.1 × 103 CFU/g), which is under regulatory limits. These results suggested that the use of plant extracts in Meju during fermentation have potential to improve microbial and toxicological safety of Meju products.


Aflatoxins; Biogenic amines; Plant extracts-added Meju; Toxicity

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