Effects of bioactive molecules on the concentration of biogenic amines in foods and biological systems

Heliyon. 2022 Aug 29;8(9):e10456. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e10456. eCollection 2022 Sep.


Biogenic amines (BAs) are a group of molecules naturally present in foods that contain amino acids, peptides, and proteins as well as in biological systems. In foods, their concentrations typically increase during processing and storage because of exposure to microorganisms that catalyze their formation by releasing amino acid decarboxylases. The concentrations of BAs above certain values are indicative of unsafe foods due to associate neuronal toxicity, allergenic reactions, and increase risks of cardiovascular diseases. There are therefore various strategies that focus on the control of BAs in foods mostly through elimination, inactivation, or inhibition of the growth of microorganisms. Increasingly, there are works on bioactive compounds that can decrease the concentration of BAs through their antimicrobial activity as well as the inhibition of decarboxylating enzymes that control their formation in foods or amine oxidases and N-acetyltransferase that control the degradation in vivo. This review focusses on the role of food-derived bioactive compounds and the mechanism by which they regulate the concentration of BAs. The findings are that most active molecules belong to polyphenols, one of the largest groups of plant secondary metabolites, additionally other useful +compounds are present in extracts of different herbs and spices. Different mechanisms have been proposed for the effects of polyphenols depending on the model system. Studies on the effects in vivo are limited and there is a lack of bioavailability and transport data which are important to assess the importance of the bioactive molecules.

Keywords: Biogenic amines; Decarboxylases; Monoamine oxidase; Phytochemicals; Polyphenols.

Publication types

  • Review