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Int J Food Microbiol. 1998 Jan 6;39(1-2):1-10.

Histamine and tyramine degradation by food fermenting microorganisms.

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Institut für Lebensmitteltechnologie, Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany.


Microorganisms suitable for food fermentation were examined with regard to their potential to degrade histamine and tyramine. Out of 64 lactic acid bacteria evaluated in this study, 27 degraded histamine and one tyramine, respectively, with low activity. Among 32 strains of Brevibacterium linens and coryneform bacteria, 21 exhibited histamine and tyramine oxidase activity. None of 20 strains of Staphylococcus carnosus tested degraded histamine or tyramine. One strain out of nine strains of Geotrichum candidum degraded tyramine slightly. Among 44 strains of Micrococcus sp. examined, 17 degraded either one or two biogenic amines. In this study Micrococcus varians (M. varians) LTH 1540 exhibited the highest tyramine oxidase activity of all strains tested and was therefore investigated in detail. The enzyme was found to be located in the cytoplasm and was not membrane bound. The reaction end product p-hydroxyphenyl acetic acid was detected by HPLC analysis. An activity staining for the amine oxidase in a native polyacrylamide gel based on the formation of H2O2 during amine oxidation was developed. Resting cells of the strain exhibited optimal tyramine oxidase activity at a pH of 7 at 37-40 degrees C. The enzyme in the cell free extract had a pH optimum between 7-8. The enzyme activity was decreased by NaCl, glucose and hydralazine. Phenylethylamine and tryptamine were oxidized at lower concentrations than tyramine. The potential for amine degradation was not found to be associated with that of formation of biogenic amines, as 23 microorganisms with the ability to metabolise biogenic amines exhibited no decarboxylase activity toward histidine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, lysine or ornithine.

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