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Recent advancements in detecting sugar-based adulterants in honey – A challenge

Wu, Liming, Du, Bing, Vander Heyden, Yvan, Chen, Lanzhen, Zhao, Liuwei, Wang, Miao, Xue, Xiaofeng
Trends in analytical chemistry 2017 v.86 pp. 25-38
C3 plants, Raman spectroscopy, adulterated products, diet, high performance liquid chromatography, honey, ingredients, medicinal properties, momentum, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, sugars, syrups
Honey is a natural sweetening agent widely used in food products and as a daily diet ingredient, but it also has medicinal properties. An increase in the demand for honey has resulted in adulteration by different sugar syrups. Authentication is therefore important for consumer confidence. This comprehensive overview covers known syrup adulterants and the analytical methodologies adopted for their detection in honey. For instance, TLC is the oldest method for honey analysis. C-isotope methods such as SCIRA, which can differentiate adulterated honey from C3 plants, are explained. Common analytical techniques such as HPAEC, GC, and HPLC are discussed. Advanced techniques, including IR, NMR, and Raman spectroscopy, which enhance the analysis process for larger numbers of samples, are also presented. Finally, Q-TOF-MS is addressed as a metabolomics-based detection method, since it has recently gained momentum following the increase in different adulterants that make detection more difficult.