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Novel inspection of sugar residue and origin in honey based on the 13C/12C isotopic ratio and protein content

Author:
Chen, Chun-Ting, Chen, Bor-Yann, Nai, Yu-Shin, Chang, Yuan-Mou, Chen, Kuan-Hua, Chen, Yue-Wen
Source:
Yàowù shípǐn fēnxī 2019 v.27 no.1 pp. 175-183
ISSN:
1021-9498
Subject:
adulterated products, honey, honey bee colonies, longans, market prices, markets, protein content, protocols, spring, sugars, syrups, winter
Abstract:
Regarding the honey industry, market prices are strongly affected by the origin and composition of products. In particular, the adulteration of honey can be divided into cases of honey being mixed with artificial syrup, the different origin of the adulteration and the presence of cane sugar residue. Unfortunately, recent studies mentioned that most honey is mixed with artificial syrups. Thus, determining such unnaturally present sugar is necessary to maintain the trust of the consuming populations. To investigate the possibility of syrup augmentation, this study first clarifies two points of great importance. First, long-term feeding of cane sugar to honey bee colonies in winter and the continuous harvest of honey were investigated to evaluate the C4 sugar ratio in spring through inspection of the 13C/12C isotopic ratio. As the results indicated, C4 sugar was detected as “sugar residue” in honey samples when the honey bee colonies were fed with cane sugar in winter and when the honey was collected in the first and second harvests in March. As indicated from the samples of 89 Taiwanese longan honeys, 54 Thai longan honeys, and 20 Taiwanese non-longan honeys for analysis, such “sugar residues” were in 40% (8/20) of the Taiwanese non-longan honeys, 15% (3/20) of 2017 Taiwanese longan honeys and 20% (4/20) of 2017 Thai longan honeys; these samples were classified as adulterated honey (C4% > 7). Second, as revealed in the honeys' protein contents, statistically significant differences were found between Taiwanese (>1.00 mg/g) and Thai longan honeys (<1.00 mg/g). Apparently, this significant difference could be used to classify the difference in origins of longan honeys. This novel inspection of “sugar residue” and “origin” in honey could represent the first attempt for a protocol to guarantee both the quality and quantity assurance of honey in the marketplace.
Agid:
6162688