Nofima reports

Histamine in fish: Liquid chromatographic determination with post-column derivatization and fluorescence detection

Hovde, Gunnhild; Wang-Andersen, Jarle; Asbjørnsen, Bente

Publication details

Publisher: Nofima AS

Issue: 15/2015

Number of pages: 45

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 978-82-8296-282-7

Open Access: green


Histamine is formed by microbial decarboxylation of histidine. Histidine is an essential amino acid which is present in all fish and especially in fish tissues of Scomberiscida and Scombridae families, for example mackerel, herring, anchovy and tuna. Histamine may lead to Scombroid food poisoning, which resembles allergic reactions.

This method is intended for quantification of histamine down to 2 mg/kg, which was determined to be a reasonable quantification limit. The method uses liquid chromatography with OPA (o-Phthaldialdehyde) as derivatization reagent followed by fluorescence detection. Recovery experiments showed that the recovery of histamine is good, between 97.7 and 102 %, for all tested sample matrixes and concentration levels (approximately 2-180 mg/kg). The method is fit for purpose.