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Carbohydrate composition of Spanish unifloral honeys

de la Fuente, E., Ruiz-Matute, A.I., Valencia-Barrera, R.M., Sanz, J., Martínez Castro, I.
Food chemistry 2011 v.129 no.4 pp. 1483-1489
Calluna vulgaris, Citrus, Echium, Eucalyptus, Rosaceae, carbohydrate composition, disaccharides, honey, monosaccharides, pollen, quantitative analysis, rosemary
As part of a research project aiming to characterise the most important Spanish floral honeys, the carbohydrate analysis of 109 honey samples was carried out. The main unifloral sources, identified by pollen analysis, were Citrus, heather, Eucalyptus, rosemary, Echium and Rosaceae. A high proportion of multifloral samples were also present. A GC method based on the use of two different stationary phases allowed the analysis of a high number of carbohydrates. A quantitation procedure which takes into account the possible errors caused by unidentified overlapping compounds was employed: two monosaccharides, 14 disaccharides and 21 trisaccharide peaks were quantitatively determined. Although qualitative results were similar for all samples, a wide range of quantitative variability was found, even within each source. Multivariate statistical techniques were applied to the carbohydrate concentration data in order to study possible relationships among the floral sources and sugar composition. Several carbohydrates were found to be characteristic of the most important honey types, although their concentrations in honey do not allow an unambiguous classification of the main unifloral sources.