Multi-Element Composition of Honey as a Suitable Tool for Its Authenticity Analysis

Open access


The aim of this study was to evaluate the composition of 36 honey samples of 4 different botanical origins (acacia, sun flower, tilia and honeydew) from the North East region of Romania. An inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) method was used to determine 27 elements in honey (Ag, Al, As, Ba, Be, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Ga, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Na, Ni, Pb, Rb, Se, Sr, Tl, U, V and Zn). We would like to achieve the following goal: to demonstrate that the qualitative and quantitative multi-element composition determination of honey can be used as a suitable tool to classify honey according to its botanical origin. The principal component analysis allowed the reduction of the 27 variables to 2 principal components which explained 74% of the total variance. The dominant elements which were strongly associated with the principal component were K, Mg and Ca. Discriminant models obtained for each kind of botanical honey confirmed that the differentiation of honeys according to their botanical origin was mainly based on multi-element composition. A correct classification of all samples was achieved with the exception of 11.1% of honeydew honeys.

1. Amtmann M., The chemical relationship between the scent features of goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.) flower and its unifloral honey. J. Food Comp. Anal., 2010, 23, 122-129.

2. Anklam E., A review of the analytical methods to determine the geographical and botanical origin of honey. Food Chem., 1998, 63, 549-562

3. Arvanitoyannis S., Chalhoub C., Gotsiou P., Lydakis-Simanitris N., Kefalas P., Novel quality control methods in conjunction with chemometrics (multivariate analysis) for detecting honey authenticity. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr., 2005, 45, 193-203.

4. Bogdanov S., Harmonised methods of the international honey commission, Swiss Bee Research Centre, FAM, Liebefeld, CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland, 2002.

5. Bogdanov S., Ruoff K., PersanoOddo L., Physico-chemical methods for the characterisation of unifloral honeys: A review. Apidologie, 2004, 35, 4-17.

6. Castro-Vazquez L., Diaz-Maroto M.C., deTorres C., Pérez-Coello M.S., Effect of geographical origin on the chemical and sensory characteristics of chestnut honeys. Food Res. Int., 2010, 43, 2335-2340.

7. Chua L.S., Abdul-Rahaman N.-L., Sarmidi M.R., Aziz R., Multielemental composition and physical properties of honey samples from Malaysia. Food Chem., 2012, 135, 880-887.

8. Chudzinska M., Baralkiewicz D., Application of ICP-MS method of determination of 15 elements in honey with chemometric approach for the verification of their authenticity. Food Chem. Toxicol., 2011, 49, 2741-2749.

9. Council Directive 2001/110/EC of the 20 December 2001 relating to honey, 2002. Official Journal of the European 334 Communities. L10, 47-52.

10. Cuevas-Glory L.F., Pino J.A., Santiago L.S., Sauri-Duch E., A review of volatile analytical methods for determining the botanical origin of honey. Food Chem., 2007, 103, 1032-1043.

11. Escriche I., Visquert M., Juan-Borras M., Fito P., Influence of simulated industrial thermal treatments on the volatile fractions of different varieties of honey. Food Chem., 2009, 112, 329-338.

12. Fernandez-Torres R., Perez-Bernal J.L., Bello-Lopez M.A., Callejon-Mochon M., Jimenez-Sanchez J.C., Guiraum-Perez A., Mineral content and botanical origin of Spanish honeys. Talanta, 2005, 65, 686-691.

13. Golob T., Dobersek U., Kump P., Necemer M., Determination of trace and minor elements in Slovenian honey by total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Food Chem., 2005, 91, 593-600.

14. Kadar M., Juan-Borrás M., Hellebrandova M., Doménech E., Escriche I., Differentiation of acacia, sunflower and tilia honeys from different countries based on sugar composition, physicochemical and colorparameters. Bull. USAMV Agric., 2010, 67, 252-258.

15. Khan N., Jeong I.S., Hwang I.M., Kim J.S., Choi S.H., Nho E.Y., Choi J.Y., Park K.S., Kim K.S., Analysis of minor and trace elements in milk and yogurts by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Food Chem., 2014, 147, 220-224.

16. Lachman L., Kolihova D., Miholova D., Kosata J., Titera D., Kult K., Analysis of minority honey components: Possible use for the evaluation of honey quality. Food Chem., 2007, 101, 973-979.

17. Louveaux J., Maurizio A., Vorwohl G., Commision Internationale de Botanique Apicole de L’U.I.S.B. Les Methodes of melisso- palynologie. Apidologie, 1970, 1, 211-227.

18. Maurizio A., Untersuchungen zur quantitative Pollenanalyse des Honigs. Mitteilungen aus dem Gebiete der Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und -Hygiene, 1939, 30, 27-72.

19. Ohe W., Persano-Oddo L., Piana M.L., Morlot M., Martin P., Harmonized methods of melissopalynology. Apidologie, 2005, 35, 18-25.

20. Oroian M., Physicochemical and rheological properties of Romanian honeys. Food Bioph., 2012,7, 296-307.

21. Overton S., Manura J., Flavor and aroma in commercial bee honey: A purge-and-trap thermal desorption technique for the identification and quantification of volatiles and semivolatiles in honey. Am. Lab., 1994, 26, 45-53.

22. Pisani A., Protano G., Riccobono F., Minor and trace elements in different honey types produced in Siena County (Italy). Food Chem., 2008, 107, 1553-1560.

23. Przybylowski P., Wilczynska A., Honey as an environmental marker. Food Chem., 2001, 74, 289-291.

24. Soria A. C., Sanz J., Martínez-Castro I., SPME followed by GC-MS: a powerful technique for qualitative analysis of honey volatiles. Eur. Food Res. Tech., 2008, 228, 579-590.

25. Terrab A., Gonzalez A.G., Diez M.J., Heredia F.J., Mineral content and electrical conductivity of the honeys produced in Northwest Morocco and their contribution to the characterisation of unifloral honeys. J. Sci. Food Agri., 2003, 83, 637-643.

26. Thompson M., Ellison S.L.R., Wood R., Harmonized guidelines for single-laboratory validation of methods of analysis (IUPAC Technical Report). Pure App. Chem., 2002, 74, 835-855.

27. Vanhanen L.P., Emmertz A., Savage G.P. Mineral analysis of mono- floral New Zealand honey. Food Chem., 2011, 128, 236-240.

28. Yucel Y., Sultanoglu P., Characterization of Hatay honeys according to their multi-element analysis using ICP-OES combined with chemometrics. Food Chem., 2013, 140, 231-237.

Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences

The Journal of Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn

Journal Information

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.697
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.760

CiteScore 2017: 1.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.651
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.113

Cited By


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 140 140 17
PDF Downloads 50 50 3