A survey was conducted to determine the histamine and tyramine contents of a variety of meat products. Histamine was found in all products at concentrations only slightly greater than one would expect from normal physiological amounts found in muscle. Semi-dry sausage products contained an average histamine concentration of 3.59 μg/g compared to an average of 2.87 μg/g in dry sausages. Country-cured hams averaged 1.69 μg histamine/g. Emulsion type products contained slightly less histamine than the fermented sausages. Braunschweiger, an exception, contained 3.6 μg histamine/g but would be expected to contain more histamine than other emulsion-type products because of its liver content. Data indicate that histamine is not formed to an appreciable extent in these meat products under normal processing conditions.

Detectable amounts of tyramine were found in 71% of the sausages and in 39% of semi-dry sausages. Tyramine was not detected in country-cured ham. Average tyramine concentrations were 244 and 85.8 μg/g in the dry and semi-dry sausages, respectively. The greatest tyramine concentration found in this study was 1237 μg/g in a Genoa salami. It is apparent that sufficient tyramine can occur in ripened sausages to be troublesome to tyramine-susceptible individuals.

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