In this study, we investigated the differences in histamine accumulation between blue scad and chub mackerel and methods of inhibiting histamine-forming bacteria and controlling histamine accumulation in fish. The free histidine contents in blue scad and chub mackerel were 1.45 and 2.75 mg/g, respectively. The histamine-forming bacteria isolated from them were identified as Citrobacter freundii, Citrobacter braakii, and Enterobacter aerogenes using 16S rDNA sequence analysis, the VITEK 2 Compact system, and MALDI-TOF MS. The histamine-producing capacities of C. freundii, C. braakii, and E. aerogenes were 470, 1,057, and 4,213 mg/liter, respectively, after culture at 37°C for 48 h. Among the different antimicrobials and preservatives tested, potassium sorbate and sodium diacetate effectively inhibited the histamine-forming bacteria and their histamine production. After chub mackerel was dipped into 0.5% potassium sorbate or sodium diacetate, its histamine content increased more slowly at room temperature. Therefore, a potassium sorbate or sodium diacetate dipping treatment could effectively control histamine accumulation in fish.

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