The effect of the hygienic quality of milk on changes in microbial counts and biogenic amine content was evaluated during ripening of goat cheeses manufactured from pasteurized and raw milks at 1, 14, 30, 60 and 90 d. The original milk, rennet, curd and whey were also included in the study. The pH, salt content and extent of proteolysis in the cheese were also evaluated. Spermidine and spermine were the main amines in raw milk, while they were minor amines in cheeses. Other amines increased markedly during ripening, tyramine being the main amine in cheese made from raw milk and cadaverine and putrescine in those produced from pasteurized milk. Enterobacteriaceae counts decreased during ripening whereas those of lactic acid bacteria increased, especially lactobacilli and enterococci. Cheese made from raw milk showed higher microbial counts during ripening than those made from pasteurized milk, especially for Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci, counts being 2 or 3 log units higher. Raw milk cheese showed remarkably higher biogenic amines compared with pasteurized milk cheeses. Therefore, pasteurization of milk causes a decrease in final biogenic amine content of cheese as a result of the reduction of its microbial counts.