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The objective of the present study was to evaluate the levels of biogenic amines (cadaverine, putrescine, tyramine, histamine, spermidine and spermine) by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the physicochemical (moisture, lipids, proteins, pH, water activity and fixed mineral residue) and microbiological (lactic acid bacteria and aerobic heterotrophic mesophilic bacteria count) characteristics of six Italian-type salami brands sold in the city of Niteroi (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). The salami showed lactic acid bacteria count from 5.7 to 8.6 CFU•mL-1, and heterotrophic mesophilic bacteria count from 5.8 to 8.7 CFU•mL-1. Three brands showed moisture contents above 35% and one brand had protein content below 25%. The mean values obtained for the amines were: 197.43, 143.29, 73.02, 4.52, 90.66 and 36.17 mg•kg-1 for tyramine, putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine, histamine, and spermine respectively. Two brands presented histamine contents above the legal limit established in 100 mg•kg-1. We concluded that the evaluated salami presented a wide variation in the count of the bacterial groups with a predominance of lactic acid bacteria. The moisture contents indicate insufficient drying before commercialization and protein content had values below the minimum limit determined by the Brazilian legislation. Finally, the levels of biogenic amines found could cause adverse reactions in susceptible consumers, depending of the amount and frequency of intake of these products.
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