Biogenic amines in fish, fish products and shellfish: a review.Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2011 Nov; 28(11):1547-60.FA
Fish, cephalopods and shellfish provide a healthy source of high-quality proteins, essential vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The beneficial effects of fish consumption on human health such as protection against coronary heart disease and certain cancer may be offset by fish decomposition and the formation of chemical contaminants such as biogenic amines. There are several toxicological effects of biogenic amines on humans, especially histamine. It is the causative agent of histamine or scombroid fish poisoning which is a significant public health problem. In individuals with diminished histamine detoxification, ingestion of even a low or moderate histamine- or tyramine-containing fish may lead to food intolerance. Biogenic amines such as putrescine, tyramine and cadaverine can potentiate histamine toxicity. Furthermore, dietary polyamine intake should be minimised in some cancer patients. Besides their potential toxicity, biogenic amines are used for the evaluation of hygienic quality of different marine and freshwater species. Spoilage pattern and biogenic amine formation are species specific. Histamine has been traditionally used as an indicator of the quality of histidine-rich fish (dark-muscle fish). On the other hand, putrescine and cadaverine are the most objective indicators of quality of histidine-poor fish (white-muscle fish), shellfish and fermented seafood products.