UPLC-MS/MS determination of histamine levels in canned fish collected from Belgrade retail markets
The aim of this study was to determine the amount of histamine in canned fish samples collected from Belgrade retail stores using ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass-spectrometry. In addition, the established levels were compared with the maximum levels set by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Union (EU) in order to assess the risk of this toxic biogenic amine to the city population. Histamine was detected in 54.07% of analyzed canned fish, in concentrations ranging from 5 to 420 mg/kg with a mean level of 60.91 mg/kg. In canned tuna, histamine levels ranged from 6 to 420 mg/kg, while in canned mackerel the concentrations ranged from 5 to 121 mg/kg. Also, the mean histamine level in canned tuna was higher than in canned mackerel (mean values were 60.91 mg/kg and 42.94 mg/kg, respectively).
Among the tested canned fish, 20% of samples had higher histamine levels than the maximum level prescribed by the FDA (histamine levels >50 mg/kg), indicating definite decomposition of the fish. Histamine levels lower than 10 mg/kg were found in 51.48% of canned fish, which indicated good-quality fish products. Only 6.67% of examined production lots of canned fish had histamine levels above the regulatory limit according to the EU standard.