Major achievements in BIOCOM

Biogenic amines in seafoods - assessment and management of consumer exposure

Major achievements in 2006

In total 16 incidents of histamine fish poisoning (HFP) have been investigated in the project. In four of these incidents the bacteria responsible for histamine formation and thereby HFP have been identified. The psychrotolerant bacteria Photobacterium phosphoreum and Morganella psychrotolerans caused three incidents of HFP whereas the mesophilic bacteria Morganella morganii subsp. morganii caused a single outbreak.

A major finding from the BIOCOM project is the identification of the bacteria Morganella psychrotolerans and Photobacterium phosphoreum, growing at temperatures as low as 0C, as being responsible for histamine formation in cold-smoked tuna and fresh tuna that caused HFP. This is significant as previously it was assumed that chilled storage was effective at preventing histamine formation. During this reporting period Morganella psychrotolerans sp. nov. was definitely identified as a new species following a description of its characteristics in International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. Significant work has been undertaken within the project to develop a mathematical model for growth and histamine formation by this new species in seafood. Specifically, the effect of temperature (0-20C) and storage atmosphere (0-100% CO2) on growth and histamine formation has been modelled and the model is ready to use in exposure assessment studies.

See News item

Major breakthrough in fighting histamine poisoning 25-09-06
A new bacterium, Morganella psychrotolerance, responsible for histamine poisoning has been identified. An award winning poster showed the new development at a major international food safety conference recently.

Projectleader BIOCOM

Dr. Paw Dalgaard

DTU Aqua, Denmark