Biogenic amines have attracted interest among researchers because of their importance as biomarkers in determining the quality of food freshness in the food industry. A rapid and simple technique that is able to detect biogenic amines is needed. In this work, a new optical sensing material for one of the biogenic amines, histamine, based on a new zinc(II) salphen complex was developed. The binding of zinc(II) complexes without an electron-withdrawing group (complex 1) and with electron-withdrawing groups (F, complex 2; Cl, complex 3) to histamine resulted in enhancement of fluorescence. All complexes exhibited high affinity for histamine [binding constant of (7.14 ± 0.80) × 104, (3.33 ± 0.03) × 105, and (2.35 ± 0.14) × 105 M-1, respectively]. Complex 2 was chosen as the sensing material for further development of an optical sensor for biogenic amines in the following step since it displayed enhanced optical properties in comparison with complexes 1 and 3. The optical sensor for biogenic amines used silica microparticles as the immobilisation support and histamine as the analyte. The optical sensor had a limit of detection for histamine of 4.4 × 10-12 M, with a linear working range between 1.0 × 10-11 and 1.0 × 10-6 M (R2 = 0.9844). The sensor showed good reproducibility, with a low relative standard deviation (5.5 %). In addition, the sensor exhibited good selectivity towards histamine and cadaverine over other amines, such as 1,2-phenylenediamine, triethylamine, and trimethylamine. Recovery and real sample studies suggested that complex 2 could be a promising biogenic amine optical sensing material that can be applied in the food industry, especially in controlling the safety of food for it to remain fresh and healthy for consumption.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.