Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp 2200–2209 | Cite as

Application of LC with Evaporative Light Scattering Detector for Biogenic Amines Determination in Fair Trade Cocoa-Based Products

  • U. Gianfranco Spizzirri
  • Ortensia Ilaria Parisi
  • Nevio Picci
  • Donatella RestucciaEmail author


In this study, the separation of eight biogenic amines (cadaverine, serotonin, histamine, spermidine, spermine, tyramine, putrescine and β-phenylethylamine) by a liquid chromatography (LC) method with evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD) was performed. The LC–ELSD method was validated by comparison of the results with those obtained through LC–ultraviolet (UV) determination, based on a pre-column dansyl chloride derivatisation step, and the recorded data showed as both analytical methods can be interchangeably used for biogenic amines determination. LC–ELSD methodology showed good precision and permitted to achieve, for standard solutions, limits of detection (LOD) ranging from 0.01 to 0.02 μg ml−1 and limits of quantitation (LOQ) ranging from 0.03 to 0.05 μg ml−1. The whole methodology, comprehensive of the homogenization–extraction process and LC–ELSD analysis, has been applied in the analysis of several samples of fair trade cocoa derivatives. The most abundant amine found was histamine for a total amount of biogenic amines in the range 5.81–38.82 μg g−1. The highest amounts of biogenic amines (BAs) were found in the most processed products but never representing a possible risk for consumer health, according to the toxicity levels reported in literature and regarded as acceptable.


Liquid chromatography Evaporative light scattering detection Biogenic amines Fair trade cocoa derivatives 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Umile Gianfranco Spizzirri declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ortensia Ilaria Parisi declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Nevio Picci has received research funds from University of Calabria.

Donatella Restuccia has received research funds from University of Calabria.

Human and Animal Rights Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Informed Consent

Not applicable.


This work was financially supported by University funds (ex 60 %).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Gianfranco Spizzirri
    • 1
  • Ortensia Ilaria Parisi
    • 1
  • Nevio Picci
    • 1
  • Donatella Restuccia
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional SciencesUniversity of CalabriaArcavacata di RendeItaly

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