Simple Detection Method of Biogenic Amines in Decomposed Fish by Intramolecular Excimer Fluorescence


Biogenic amines are known to have various biological functions such as not only neurotransmitter and cell proliferation but also food poisoning. Bacterially-decomposed amines such as histamine, agmatine, putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine cause allergic symptoms. We developed simple method for measurement of polyamine as indicator of food decomposition with a fluorometer by using 4-(1-Pyrene)butyric acid N-hydroxysuccinimide ester (PSE). PSE reacts with primary and secondary amino moieties of polyamines and produces the intramolecular excimer fluorescence. Excimer fluorescence with broad peak at around 470 nm was clearly detected in linear type biogenic amines such as putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine at 10 mM. However neither histamine nor trimethylamine altered the fluorescence. Decomposed sardine and mackerel by improper storage showed stronger intensity than fresh ones. Comparing with OPA-method, PSE method was useful for screening biogenic amines present in food, esp. fish since the analysis was simple after one-step purification procedure. An inexpensive system which can rapidly detect biogenic amines from food is necessary in a medium and small-sized food business. The technique using excimer has potential to realize the high through-put screening system for evaluation of food freshness and is expected to bring the public interests such as food security and safety of consumer.

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H. Nishikawa, T. Tabata and S. Kitani, "Simple Detection Method of Biogenic Amines in Decomposed Fish by Intramolecular Excimer Fluorescence," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 1020-1026. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.37135.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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