What is histamine?
Histamine (HA) belongs to the group of biogenic amines, which are low-molecular-weight nitrogenated compounds, formed by the decarboxylation of amino acids.
In 1907, HA was synthesized by Adolf Windaus, and later, in 1910, Ackerman described the formation of HA from the essential amino acid histidine by bacterial decomposition.
Also in 1910, Dale and Laidlaw, on extracting it from ergot, defined HA as a biologically active substance causing contraction of the intestinal smooth muscle and vasodilatation.
In 1913, Eppinger showed that HA causes a skin reaction similar to that caused by an insect bite. In 1924, Popielski showed that HA induced acid secretion in a dog’s stomach. That same year, Lewis described the “Lewis triple response”, characterized by itching, flushing and edema, stating that this was due to the release of HA.
In 1927, Best and co-workers isolated HA from liver and lung extracts, showing that HA was not only produced by bacterial decomposition, but that HA is a natural component of various mammalian tissues. Subsequent to these discoveries, the pharmacological development of HA commenced with the synthesis of antagonistic substances.
How is it performed?
The determination of histamine is performed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with OPA post-column derivatization and fluorimetric detection, guaranteeing the ultra-sensitivity and high specificity of the analytical system.
How reliable is it?
High-performance liquid chromatography is the technique par excellence for the determination of histamine; it is therefore 99.99% reliable.
How sensitive is it?
Our ultra-sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography system achieves a histamine detection index of 5 pg or 1×107 ppm.
Types of histamine analyses
Histamine analysis in ALLERGIES
What is it?
Histamine is a mediator of allergic response, and therefore a diagnostic marker of the presence of an allergic process. Histamine is released when the reaction is triggered, causing the inflammation in the allergic reaction.
Where does its importance lie?
In its use as a diagnostic marker, as it is the cause of many symptoms of allergy, such as the rashes, reddening and itching observed in hives, or the nasal congestion, nasal itching or sneezing observed in allergic rhinitis.
Types of Histamine analyses
Determination of Histamine in whole blood, plasma and urine.
Histamine analysis in FOODSTUFFS
It is an indicator of the quality of certain foodstuffs such as wine, cheese or fish.
In the case of fish, there are specific regulations which establish limits of between 100 and 200 ppm (mg of histamine/Kg of fish). In matured and salted fish products (for example, semi-preserved anchovies and similar products), this concentration may be doubled. The fish species most involved are tuna, sardines, herrings and anchovies. All of these are consumed frequently in our country, both fresh and salted or preserved.
Regarding wine, histamine is usually present in very small quantities. An excess of histamine in wine is associated with the “hangover” effect and the headaches caused by its consumption. This parameter is used to control the entry of new wines into particular domestic markets (8 mg/L – 20 mg/L). Knowing the histamine levels in wines is of great importance for the internationalization of the wine business.
Where does its importance lie?
The performance of analyses to monitor histamine levels enables the provision of safe products and the avoidance of intoxication of consumers.
Which foodstuffs contain it?
The foodstuffs which may contain histamine are cheeses, wines, cured sausage and fish, among others.