Contamination and Prevalence of Histamine in Canned Tuna from Iran: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Health Risk Assessment

J Food Prot. 2018 Dec;81(12):2019-2027. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-18-301.


Histamine is one of the most important health issues associated with consumption of canned tuna because of possible allergic and anaphylactic reactions in consumers. Although the concentrations of histamine in tuna in Iran have been investigated in several studies, definitive conclusions are elusive. This study was undertaken as a systematic review and meta-analysis of the concentration and prevalence of histamine in Iranian canned tuna, and the related health risk was assessed. An extensive search of articles in the databases Scopus, PubMed, and Scientific Information Database resulted in 11 articles and a total of 693 samples for inclusion in this review. The minimum and maximum concentrations of histamine were determined as 8.59 ± 14.24 and 160.52 ± 87.59 mg kg−1, respectively. The mean concentration was calculated as 77.86 mg kg−1 (95% confidence interval [CI], 47.51 to 108.21 mg kg−1), which was lower than the 200 mg kg−1 recommended limit by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The mean prevalence of histamine was 9.19% (95%; CI, 6.88 to 11.5%). The 95% value of the target hazard quotient for adult consumers was calculated as 0.10. In all studies performed in Iran, the concentration of histamine in canned tuna was lower than FDA standard. Health risk assessment indicated low histamine risk (target hazard quotient < 1) for adults in Iran from consumption of canned tuna.

Keywords: Canned tuna; Fish; Histamine; Iran; Meta-analysis; Risk assessment.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Preservation
  • Histamine / analysis*
  • Iran
  • Mercury*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Assessment
  • Seafood / analysis*
  • Tuna*


  • Histamine
  • Mercury