Main content area

Authentication of beeswax (Apis mellifera) by high-temperature gas chromatography and chemometric analysis

Maia, Miguel, Nunes, Fernando M.
Food chemistry 2013 v.136 no.2 pp. 961-968
Apis mellifera, alkanes, beeswax, capillary gas chromatography, cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, electrons, ionization, mass spectrometry, models, oleic acid, prediction, principal component analysis, temperature
Chemical characterization and authentication of beeswax of Apis mellifera was performed by high temperature capillary gas chromatography coupled to electron impact mass spectrometry or to flame ionisation detection and chemometric analysis. Many major components (>50) of beeswax, odd and even hydrocarbons, oleofin, palmitate, oleate and hydroxypalmitate monoesters were detected, and for the first time palmitate and oleate monoesters esterified with 1-octadecanol and 1-eicosanol are reported to be present in beeswax. Unsupervised pattern recognition procedures, cluster analysis and principal component analysis, were used to find data patterns and successfully differentiate authentic and paraffin adulterated beeswax based on the chemical profile obtained. Independent assessment of beeswax quality and performance of the unsupervised classification methods were performed using classical analytical parameters. The discrimination power of the chemometric unsupervised methods for detection of paraffin adulterated beeswax was superior to the discriminating power of classical analytical parameters. Using linear discriminant analysis, classification rules for authentic and paraffin adulterated beeswax samples were developed. The model was validated by leave-one-out cross validation and showed good recognition and prediction abilities, 100% and 99%, respectively.