Abstract The paper presents the application of liquid chromatography coupled with evaporative light scattering detector (LC-ELSD) for the determination of biogenic amines in different cheese samples, as their presence and relative amounts give useful information about freshness, level of ripening and quality of storage. Forty samples from different types of milk – hard-ripened, ripened and unripened – were considered. Results showed that the amine contents varied in relation to the manufacturing process, the highest concentration being in hard-ripened cheeses followed by ripened and then unripened. In hard-ripened cheeses amines were β-phenylethylamine (PHE) (69.8–136.6mgkg−1), tyramine (TYR) (19.7–147.1mgkg−1), spermidine (SPD) (nd–73.1mgkg−1), cadaverine (CAD) (nd–64.7mgkg−1), histamine (HIS) (17.6–48.2mgkg−1), spermine (SPM) (nd–47.4mgkg−1), putrescine (PUT) (nd–44.1mgkg−1) and agmatine (AGM) (nd–4.2mgkg−1); while in ripened cheese TYR (nd–116.7mgkg−1), PUT (nd–82.9mgkg−1), HIS (nd–57.7mgkg−1), PHE (nd–51.1mgkg−1), SPD (nd–31.5mgkg−1), CAD (nd–30.7mgkg−1), SPM (nd–26.9mgkg−1) and AGM (nd–4.8mgkg−1). On the basis of literature limits, in this study only hard ripened cheeses could represent a possible risk for consumers as they exceeded a proposed limit for PHE and total biogenic amines amount.