Changes in biogenic amines (histamine, methylamine, ethylamine, tyramine, phenylethylamine, putrescine, and cadaver-ine) were monitored during the industrial manufacture of 55 batches of red wine. The origin of these amines in relation to must, alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation, sulfur dioxide addition, and wine aging and the interactions between amines and their corresponding amino acids and pH were statistically evaluated in samples from the same batches throughout the elaboration process. Some amines can be produced in the grape or the musts (e.g., putrescine, cadaverine, and phenylethylamine) or can be formed by yeast during alcoholic fermentation (e.g., ethylamine and phenylethylamine), although quantitatively only very low concentrations are reached in these stages (less than 3 mg/liter). Malolactic fermentation was the main mechanism of biogenic amine formation, especially of histamine, tyramine, and putrescine. During this stage, the increase in these amines was accompanied by a significant decline in their amino acid precursors. Significant correlations between biogenic amine formation and the disappearance of their corresponding amino acids were observed, which clearly supports the hypothesis that malolactic bacteria are responsible for accumulation of these amines in wines. No increase in the concentration of biogenic amines was observed after SO2 addition and during wine aging, indicating that sulfur dioxide prevents amine formation in subsequent stages.

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