The Antioxidant Activity of Maltese Honey

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Maltese honey has been valued for its medicinal properties since ancient times, so much so that the word Malta is derived from the ancient Greek word, Melite, which means honey. In this study, Maltese honey samples (n = 30) from three harvest seasons and different floral sources were analysed to determine their antioxidant/antiradical properties. Colorimetric assays were used to determine the polyphenol content, flavonoid content, and colour intensity, and these values were analysed to determine whether they correlated with radical scavenging activity as determined by bioassays. The honey samples varied in their DPPH activity (range, 3.326 - 11.865 mg AEAC/100 g honey), reducing power (EC 50 range: 5.632 - 14.453 mg/ml), total phenolic content (range, 8.114 - 109.765 mg TAE/100 g honey), total flavonoids (range, 0.655 - 212.865 mg RE/100 g honey), and colour intensity (range, 0.000 - 99.581 mm Pfund). The data were subjected to factor analysis using principal components. The antioxidant properties correlated significantly with total polyphenol content and colour (p<0.0001). Principal components analysis revealed three clusters of honey corresponding to the three harvest seasons.

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