Monitoring of biogenic amines in food is important for quality control, in terms of freshness evaluation and even more for food safety. A novel and cost-effective method was developed and validated for the determination of the main biogenic amines: histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine in fish tissues. The method includes extraction of amines with perchloric acid, pre-column derivatization with Pyrene Sulfonyl Chloride (PSCl), extraction of derivatives with toluene, back-dissolution in ACN after evaporation and determination by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography with UV and intramolecular excimer fluorescence detection. The structure of the pyrene-derivatives was confirmed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with electrospray ionization. The standard addition technique was applied for the quantitation due to significant matrix effect, while the use of 1,7-diaminoheptane as internal standard offered an additional confirmation tool for the identification of the analytes. Method repeatability expressed as %RSD ranged between 7.4-14% for the different amines and recovery ranged from 67% for histamine up to 114% for spermine. The limits of detection ranged between 0.1-1.4 mg kg-1 and the limits of quantification between 0.3-4.2 mg kg-1. The method was applied to canned fish samples and the concentrations of the individual biogenic amines were below the detection limit up to 40.1 mg kg-1, while their sum was within the range 4.1-49.6 mg kg-1.
Keywords: HPLC; bioamines; dietary exposure; excimer fluorescence; intramolecular excitement; polyamines; pyrene probe; scombroid poisoning; seafood.