The amines they are substances that derive from ammonia , a gas It is made up of three hydrogen atoms and one nitrogen atom. When at least one of the hydrogen atoms is substituted of the ammonia by aromatic or aliphatic radicals, an amine is obtained.
If a hydrogen atom is replaced, there is talk of primary amine . In cases where two hydrogen atoms are replaced, the result is a secondary amine . The tertiary amines On the other hand, they are generated from the replacement of the three hydrogen atoms.
Other classification of the amines depends on the alkyl groups , which give rise to two possibilities: when they are identical, then the amines are simple ; instead, if they have different characteristics , the amines result mixed .
The aniline It is a primary amine. This organic compound is used in the production of pesticides, explosives, paints and varnishes, among others products . It should be noted that aniline is toxic since it causes damage to hemoglobin.
Among the secondary amines, the diethylamine , a substance used to produce dyes, resins and other items. If diethylamine falls on the skin , causes a burn.
As for tertiary amines, one of the most common is the trimethylamine , which is used in tinctures and resins. The decomposition of plants and animals releases trimethylamine: the unpleasant smell of the process is due to the presence of this amine.
Different kinds of amines have different characteristics. In similar amines molecular weight , primary and secondary ones have higher boiling points than tertiary amines, to name an example.
In a large number of drinks and food, we can find nitrogen compounds that are known as biogenic amines, which are fermented by bacteria lactic Some of the most common examples are beer, wine, sausages and cheese , just four of the most consumed products in many parts of the world.
It is important to note that if the biogenic amines of a food item are present in high concentrations, this can have negative consequences for the Health of consumers. As a result of this risk, scientists constantly work to ensure that they do not grow, and for this they use processes such as freezing and refrigeration.
Despite efforts to limit the development of biogenic amines in food, refrigerating and freezing them is not always enough , and therefore it is necessary to know how these compounds are formed, how they act and which are the most common, so that it is more possible to reduce their consumption and have them under control .
In food products, the most common biogenic amines are tyramine, histamine, sperm, putrescine, tryptamine, sperdimine and cadaverine. From this list we must highlight tyramine and histamine , the most abundant in the cheese , as they are the causes of the greatest number of food poisoning .
Since they can cause the formation of potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines from the reaction with nitrites, they have been considered hazardous substances . With regard to the toxic capacity of biogenic amines, it is necessary to point out that it depends on certain factors outside of them, such as the combination of their consumption with some medications, or even the sensitivity of the person; this makes the task of defining levels of toxicity in each food.
The term biogenic in the name of these substances it refers to the fact that they arise from the activity of certain living organisms. In processes such as the fermentation of food, whether spontaneous or controlled, these amines proliferate.