Biogenic amine profiles and nucleotide ratios for wild sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stored in ice, in boxes without ice, wrapped in aluminium foil (WAF) and wrapped in cling film (WCF) at 4 degrees C were studied. Ten biogenic amines (histamine putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine, spermine, tryptamine, tyramine, 2-phenylethylamine, agmatine and serotonin) and nucleotide ratios (K-value, Ki-value, H-value and G-value) were determined. The mean value of K, Ki, H and G was 66%, 72%, 13% and 81%, respectively, when the fish reached the limit of acceptability to the panellists. Linearity (r(2)) of K, Ki, H and G values for all storage conditions was 0.94-0.96, 0.94-0.96, 0.88-094 and 0.94-0.98, respectively. The mean values of K, Ki and G were higher in WCF than WAF and fish stored in ice except on day 8. The highest K, Ki and G values were obtained from fish wrapped in cling film, followed by fish in aluminium foil and fish stored in ice. Histamine was detected only towards the end of the storage time for WAF and WCF. As storage time progressed, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine became the dominant amines reaching 11, 8.9 and 10 mg/kg, respectively, at days 12 of storage in ice. Putrescine and tryptamine contents also rose steadily to reach 5.8 and 2.1 mg/ kg, respectively. The levels of biogenic amines were significantly higher in sea bass stored in WCF and WAF as compared with the iced storage conditions. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.