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This paper is concerned with analytical methods which allow the determination of the botanical and geographical origin of honey. Methods described in the literature are summarized and evaluated. The conclusions may facilitate further analytical work in order to prevent frauds and to protect authentic honey samples. Whereas the determination of some single parameters such as 5-hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF), residues, enzyme activity, moisture, nitrogen and monosaccharides and disaccharides in honey does not lead to any information about the botanical and geographical origin, there are some suitable methods based on analysis of specific components or on multicomponent analysis. Mostly, such methods give indications on the botanical origin investigation flavonoid patterns, distribution of pollen, aroma compounds and special marker compounds. Some other component profiles could probably be used for the detection of the geographical origin (eg oligosaccharides, amino acids, trace elements). The most promising method combination could consist of analysis of trace elements, oligosaccharides, amino acids, flavonoids, aroma compounds and oxygen stable isotopic ratios in the water of honey. In addition all methods should be supported by multivariate statistical data analysis.

Additional information

Authors: ANKLAM E, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 17274 EN (1996) 50pp., FS, free of charge
Availability: Available from the Public Relations and Publications Unit, JRC Ispra, I-21020 Ispra (IT), Fax: +39-332-785818
Record Number: 199710084 / Last updated on: 1997-02-28
Original language: en
Available languages: en