Bacillus polymyxa D05-1, isolated from salted fish product and possessing amine degrading activity, was used as a starter culture in salted fish fermentation in this study. Fermentation was held at 35°C for 120 days. The water activity in control samples (without starter culture) and inoculated samples (inoculated with B. polymyxa D05-1) remained constant throughout fermentation, whereas the pH value rose slightly during fermentation. Salt contents in both samples were constant in the range of 17.5-17.8% during the first 60 days of fermentation and thereafter increased slowly. The inoculated samples had considerably lower levels of total volatile basic nitrogen (p < 0.05) than control samples at each sampling time during 120 days of fermentation. Aerobic bacterial counts in inoculated samples were retarded during the first 60 days of fermentation and thereafter increased slowly, whereas those of control samples increased rapidly with increased fermentation time. However, the aerobic bacterial counts of control samples were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of inoculated samples after 40 days of fermentation. In general, overall biogenic amine contents (including histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, and tyramine) in the control samples were markedly higher (p < 0.05) than those of the inoculated samples throughout fermentation. After 120 days of fermentation, the histamine and overall biogenic amine contents in the inoculated samples were reduced by 34.0% and 30.0%, respectively, compared to control samples. These results emphasize that the application of starter culture with amines degrading activity in salted fish products was effective in reducing biogenic amine accumulation. © 2015, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

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