The present study evaluated: (1) the formation of biogenic amines (BAs) in smoked turkey fillets during storage under aerobic and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) conditions at 4 degrees C, (2) the relation of BAs to microbial and sensory changes in turkey meat and (3) the possible role of BAs as indicators of poultry meat spoilage. Smoked sliced turkey fillets were stored in air and under vacuum, skin and two modified atmospheres (MAP), M1 (30% CO2/70% N-2) and M2 (50% CO2/50% N-2), at 4 +/- 0.5 degrees C, for a period of 30 days. The BAs determined were: tryptamine, tyramine, histamine, putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine and spermine. Low levels of BAs were observed throughout the entire storage period, with the exception of histamine, tyramine and tryptamine, for which higher concentrations were recorded. Values for these three BAs were the highest for air-packaged samples (32.9, 25.0 and 4.1 mg/kg, respectively) and the lowest for skin-packaged samples (11.9, 4.3 and 2.8 mg/kg, respectively) after 30 days of storage. All microorganism populations increased throughout the storage period, except for Pseudomonas spp. and Enterobacteriaceae, in skin-packaged fillets and modified atmosphere M2, which remained under the method detection limit (< I log CFU/g) until day 30 of storage. Pseudomonas spp. and Enterobacteriaceae for the rest of the packaging treatments remained below 5 log CFU/g throughout storage. On the other hand, lactic acid bacteria were dominant throughout the storage period, regardless of the packaging conditions reaching 8.9 log CFU/g on day 30 of storage. Mesophiles reached 7 log CFU/g after ca. 19-20 days for the air and skin packed samples, 22-23 days for the M2 and vacuum packed samples and 25-26 days for the M I packed samples. BA values for tryptamine, histamine and tyramine correlated well with both microbiological and sensory analyses data. Tryptamine, histamine and tyramine may be used as chemical indicators of turkey meat spoilage. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.