Background: Biogenic Amines (BAs) are biologically active nitrogenous organic compounds
of low molecular weight, which are frequently found in a wide variety of foods, beverages
and herbs due to their toxic potential in humans. Male Silkworm Moth (MSM), a Traditional Chinese
Medicine (TCM), has been exploited and utilized as nutritious liquor based on its traditional
effects in the Chinese community.
Objective: The objective of this study was to develop an HPLC with Dns-Cl derivatization method
for characterizing overall BAs in MSM and providing data for further evaluating its activities and
Methods: The method has acceptable sensitivity, precision, accuracy, selectivity and recovery, and was
successfully applied to the determination of the BAs contents in MSM for the first time.
Results: In the analysis of 10 batches of MSM samples, serotonin and dopamine were not found in
detectable concentrations in any samples, and the most abundant amine found was putrescine. The
mean values of tryptamine, phenylethylamine, putrescine, cadaverine, histamine, tyramine, spermidine,
and spermine determined in the samples were found to be 34.7 mg/ kg, 16.1 mg/ kg, 218.3
mg/ kg, 37.9 mg/ kg, 12.1 mg/ kg, 18.2 mg/ kg, 4.5mg/ kg, and 0.9 mg/ kg, respectively.
Conclusion: The contents of BAs in 10 batches of MSM were below the maximum recommended
limits, and MSM can be used safely.