The content of biogenic amines in wines and other fermented beverages has been extensively studied over the last 25 years because of the physiological effects which their consumption might lead to, in particular in the presence of alcohol. From the health point of view, this may indicate that the hygienic conditions while the beverage in question was being produced were deficient. Thanks to the rapid evolution of analytical techniques, there is now a better knowledge of the origin and the content of biogenic amines in wines. At present, data about concentrations are suufficiently reliable for rules to be established about the maximum recommendable limits in each country, although as yet there are no legal, unified regulations. The most widely used analytical methods for determining biogenic amines nowadays are based on chromatographic separation procedures and, in particular, on High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). This study reviews research which has compiled data about the presence of biogenic amines in wines and about the analytical techniques used to determine them, putting special emphasis on HPLC methods and the sampling treatments necessary to carry out the analyses.
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