Highly selective and sensitive colorimetric/fluorometric dual mode detection of relevant biogenic amines†
Biogenic amines are involved in physiological roles in living organisms, but their excessive production or intake can induce undesired toxicological effects. As biogenic amines can be found in the process of food spoilage, they are considered an indicator of food quality and freshness, and their detection is of crucial importance in food safety. In this contribution, we report the fast and direct colorimetric and fluorometric sensing of biogenic amines by means of a dinuclear Zn(II) Schiff-base complex. The selective and sensitive detection involves the formation of stable adducts between the dinuclear complex, acting as the Lewis acidic molecular tweezer, and biogenic di- or polyamines. The selectivity towards biogenic amines, even in the presence of common aliphatic, primary, secondary, or tertiary monoamines, heterocyclic amines, and amino acids, is demonstrated by competitive experiments. The quantitation of histamine in a fish matrix is easily achieved using a standard extraction procedure followed by simple colorimetric or fluorometric measurements.