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Mutagenic products are promoted in the nitrosation of tyramine

González-Jiménez, Mario, Arenas-Valgañón, Jorge, García-Santos, María del Pilar, Calle, Emilio, Casado, Julio
Food chemistry 2017 v.216 pp. 60-65
decarboxylation, ethylbenzene, fermented foods, food additives, humans, mutagenicity, nitrites, phenethylamine, physicochemical properties, stomach, toxicology, tyramine, tyrosine, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy
Tyramine is a biogenic compound derived from the decarboxylation of the amino acid tyrosine, and is therefore present at important concentrations in a broad range of raw and fermented foods. Owing to its chemical properties, tyramine can react with nitrite, a common food additive, in the acidic medium of stomach to form N- and C-nitroso compounds. Since toxicology studies have shown that the product of C-nitrosation of tyramine is mutagenic, in the present article tyramine nitrosation mechanisms have been characterized in order to discern which of them are favoured under conditions similar to those in the human stomach lumen. To determine the kinetic course of nitrosation reactions, a systematic study of the nitrosation of ethylbenzene, phenethylamine, and tyramine was carried out, using UV–visible absorption spectroscopy. The results show that, under conditions mimicking those of the stomach lumen, the most favoured reaction in tyramine is C-nitrosation, which generates mutagenic products.