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Open access

Shantal Rodríguez-Flores, Olga Escuredo and Maria Carmen Seijo

Abstract

In recent years, authentic foodstuffs have became a major requirement for consumers and producers worldwide. Honey has increased in popularity since it is associated with a natural diet, and because of honey’s authentic origin. The present study investigated the palynological characteristics, physicochemical parameters, total phenol content, flavonoid content, and radical scavenging activity of 41 sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) honeys from the northwestern part of Spain. These honeys were characterised by high values of electrical conductivity, pH, diastase content, and colour. All the samples showed a pollen combination of Castanea sativa-Rubus-Cytisus type-Erica. Fructose and glucose were 37.2% and 25.9%, while other sugars were less than 5%. Regarding the mineral content K, was the main with a mean value of 260.2 mg/100g. Other elements as Mg with a mean value of 17.1 mg/100g, Ca (mean value of 15.8 mg/100g) and P (mean value of 12.8 mg/100g) were well represented in this honey type. The phenol and flavonoid content were high (mean values of 129.8 mg/100g and 9.0 mg/100g, respectively). Multivariate statistical techniques showed the close relationship of colour, Mg, P, phenols, melezitose, and flavonoids, and the radical scavenging activity.

Open access

Olga Escuredo, María Fernández-González, María S. Rodríguez-Flores, Ana Seijo-Rodríguez and María C. Seijo-Coello

Summary

Honeys were studied in order to know the relationships between their botanical origin, the total content of phenols and flavonoids, and the 2.2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity. The principal floral resources for honeybees in the studied area were Castanea sativa, Rubus, Eucalyptus, Erica, and Cytisus.

Results showed the influence of Erica and Castanea in the phenol content, flavonoids content, and the antioxidant activity of honeys. The presence of Erica in honeys was related to the highest phenol content; so heather honeys had a mean content of 178.9 mg/100g. Honeys with high Castanea pollen content had the highest value of flavonoids (7.7 mg/100g) and a minor value of half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) (9.4 mg/ml). Eucalyptus and blackberry were the honeys with minor contents of these compounds. A stepwise linear regression was used to estimate the phenol content of honeys. The contribution of Erica and Castanea was highlighted in the obtained model (R2 = 0.61), with significant p-value (< 0.01).