Document Type: Review
Iran Food and Drug Administration, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Tehran, Iran.; Food Safety and Hygiene Division, Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Student Research Committee, Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Food Safety and Hygiene Division, Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Background and objective: Seafood have high nutritional value since they contain sufficient amounts of protein, lipid, micronutrients and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially omega3 fatty acid. However, histamine, a chemically hazardous biogenic amine, is produced by decarboxylation of histidine in the products through bacterial metabolism. Moreover, exessive alcohol intake may induce histamine intolerance. This study overviews histamine regulation, metabolism, and the control measures form technical intervention to alcohol consumption preventing histamine formation and its adverse effects.
Results and conclusion: Spoilage microorganisms are present in the environment and in raw materials, which might contaminate fish during catching, transportation and processing stages and produce a high concentration of histamine. Several studies revealed that the histamine concentration of fish products exceeded the permitted limits because of improper sanitation practices and storage conditions. Morganella morganii was recognized as the strongest histamine forming bacteria. Histamine is hardly detectable in food products due to its odorless and colorless features. This compound is highly stable and cannot be eliminate or disintegrated by processes such as cooking, canning and freezing. The best practical approach in control of histamine is applying HACCP system by focusing on proper chilling from fishing to table, to prevent growth of histamine-producing bacteria. Importantly, excessive alcohol consumption exposes the consumers at risk of histamine intolerance by interfering in the metabolism and degradation of histamine conducted by the enzymes in the human body. Therefore, both technical measures and consumers’ atitude in alcohol consumption favor better histamine tolerance in body.