Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a toxin mainly occurring naturally in contaminated puffer fish, which are a culinary delicacy in Japan. It is also detected in various marine organisms like globefish, starfish, sunfish, stars, frogs, crabs, snails, Australian blue-ringed octopuses, and bivalve molluscs. TTX is produced by marine bacteria that are consumed mainly by fish of the Tetraodontidae family and other aquatic animals. TTX poisoning through consuming marine snails has recently begun to occur over a wider geographical extent through Taiwan, China, and Europe. This neurotoxin causes food intoxication and poses an acute risk to public health. The aim of this review is to present the most recent information about TTX and its analogues with particular regard to toxicity, methods of analysis, and risk to humans of exposure.
Anna Madejska, Mirosław Michalski, Marzena Pawul-Gruba and Jacek Osek
In recent years, there has been a great interest in biogenic amines such histamine, as they are associated with the quality and safety of some kinds of fermented foods. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature and storage time on the content of histamine in cheeses.
Material and Methods
Samples of mould and hard cheeses were examined with RP-HPLC with an organic-aqueous mobile phase containing acidic buffer and chaotropic salt. The samples were stored either at 22 ± 2°C for 42 days (mould and hard cheeses) or at 4 ± 2°C for 112 days (mould cheeses) and 133 days (hard cheeses).
The mean total histamine content in cheeses stored at 22°C was higher than the content in those stored at 4°C, with the highest concentrations found in Gorgonzola Piccante cheese (730.47 mg/kg). Histamine concentration in some types of cheeses exceeded the toxic threshold dose, indicating that after long or inadequately cool storage they may not be safe for consumers.
To protect cheeses from contamination with histamine-producing bacteria and to safeguard consumers from poisoning, factors conducive to this amine’s formation should be minimised during cheese processing. Suitable temperature and time during storage of cheeses are recommended to avoid the intoxication. Monitoring of this toxin in food is necessary to ensure safety of consumers.