The potential to produce the biogenic amines tyramine, histamine and putrescine, was investigated for lactic acid bacteria (LAB) of various origin, including commercial malolactic starter cultures, type strains and 78 strains isolated from Spanish grape must and wine. The presence of biogenic amines in a decarboxylase synthetic broth was determined by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Tyramine was the main amine formed by the LAB strains investigated. Leuconostoc strains were the most intensive tyramine formers. No potential to form biogenic amines was observed in Oenococcus oeni strains. Two strains of Latobacillus buchneri were associated with putrescine formation. None of the lactic acid bacteria produced histamine. According to these in vitro results, the commercial starter bacteria analyzed did not produce histamine, tyramine and putrescine.