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What are biogenic amines ?

Biogenic amines are a class of compounds that are derived from amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. The most well known biogenic amine is histamine, which is produced by the body and which plays an important role in allergic reactions. Biogenic amines are present in all natural products in which protein degradation has taken place. Fish and canned fish are well known for high concentrations of biogenic amines.

Some people are sensitive to biogenic amines in food, which results in symptoms resembling an allergic reaction.

The main biogenic amines in foods are histamine, tryptamin, cadaverin, putrescin, spermin and spermidin. In our body several other biogenic amines are important as neurotransmitters. These are GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), serotonin and dopamin. is an initiative of Stichting Food-Info, The Netherlands

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