Analysis of biogenic amines (BA) in foods was reviewed. Biogenic amines are natural antinutrition factors and are important from a hygienic point of view as they have been implicated as the causative agents in a number of food poisoning episodes, and they are able to initiate various pharmacological reactions. Histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, tyramine, tryptamine, P-phenylethylamine, spermine, and spermidine are considered to be the most important biogenic amines occurring in foods. Analysis of BA is important because of their toxicity and their usage as indicators of the degree of freshness or spoilage of food. Several methods have been developed for determination of biogenic amines in food. The analytical methods used for quantification of BA are mainly based on chromatographic methods: thin layer chromatography (TLC), gas chromatography (GC), capillary electrophoresis (CE) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). HPLC is most often used for the analysis method of BAs. Due to low volatility and lack of chromophores of most BA, UV-spectrometric detectors cannot be used. The large majority of assays employs fluorimetric detection with precolumn or postcolumn derivatization techniques. This review shows that these methods allow quantitative determination of biogenic amines, individually or simultaneously in foods. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.