Biogenic amine formation and bacterial growth of vacuum-packed European anchovy treated with 1% lemon balm (LB) or lavender (LD) ethanol extracts was investigated. The treated samples were stored at 2 +/- 1 degrees C for 11 d and analyzed for biogenic amines, total viable count, fecal coliform count, and lactic acid bacterial count. The analyses were done on 0, 4, 7, 9, and 11 d of storage. Both LB and LD extracts proved effective in reducing most biogenic amines, with histamine reduced by 3-fold compared to control. The calculated biogenic amine index showed that LB extract was the most effective in inhibiting the biogenic amine formation. The reduction in total viable count was low and the bacterial contamination reached more than 7 log cfu/g at the end of the storage period for all the samples. Moreover, the reduction in fecal coliform and lactic acid bacterial count by LB and LD extracts was below 1 log cfu/g. Treatment of European anchovy with LB and LD extracts proved to be a very effective preservation technique to reduce the biogenic amine formation and lower the risk of histamine fish poisoning but is not effective in reduction of bacterial load. Consequently, LB and LD extracts could be used to reduce the biogenic amine formation which provides additional safety prior to spoilage for histamine sensitive fish species.