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