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Detection and Quantification of Biogenic Amines in Fermented Food Products Sold in Botswana

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The incidence and concentrations associated with four important biogenic amines in leading commercial fermented beverages consumed in Botswana were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography. In 87 sorghum brew and 84 sour milk (madila, amasi) samples tested, putrescine was the most prevalent biogenic amine (63 and 61%, respectively), while histamine was the least prevalent (24 and 8%, respectively). Cadaverine was the most frequently detected biogenic amine in 79 of the commercial sour maize beverage (mageu/mahewu) samples tested (found in 70% of the samples), while tyramine was the least detected (occurring in 3% of the samples). In sorghum brew and sour milk, tyramine was found to be the most concentrated (mean concentration of 2.08 mg/100 ml and 3.2 mg/100 ml, respectively), and histamine was found to be the least concentrated (mean concentration of 0.94 mg/100 ml and 0.31 mg/100 ml, respectively). Overall, the biogenic amine concentrations of all three fermented products were within acceptable limits. However, one sorghum brew sample had a histamine content of 5.8 mg/ 100 ml, which was above the 5.0 mg/100 g allowable limit suggested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Botswana, Private Bag UB 00704, Gaborone, Botswana

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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