Myriads of sensors have been proposed to signal the spoilage of a piece of meat. It is assumed and taken for granted that biogenic amines, BAs, harmful by-product indicating the last phase of degradation, must be present in the volatilome developed over the decaying meat. This chapter aims to clearly explain BAs’ role in protein food spoilage: undoubtedly produced inside the meat, never present in the headspace, where sensors are displayed. The BAs presence in the headspace represents a sort of myth. It is plenty of evidence that BAs cannot be present in the volatilome over the meat. The BAs’ volatility is pH-dependent. As shown by their protonation constants, the strongly buffered pH of proteinaceous food prevents their vapour phase transition. The chemical analyses made at the same degradation time, on the meat and the headspace above the meat, corroborate the real composition of the volatilome, demonstrating the BAs absence. The sensors here described, designed on volatilome evidence, succeed to follow the entire process, from the SAFE condition to the WARNING and the HAZARD. The final prototype works reliably on real protein foods (i.e. chicken, beef pork and fish), not enriched and stored at the home condition.
Part of the book: Meat and Nutrition