Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a by-product of thermal degradation of glucose and fructose. In this study, the effects of high HMF content of honey on biochemical parameters of rats were investigated. Experiments were conducted with 40 Wistar albino male rats, each weighing 250-350 g and covered a period of 5 weeks. The animals were divided into five groups. The first group was served as control group. HMF was injected subcutaneously at a dose of 200 mg/kg rat b.w. to the animals in group 2. Group 3 was fed with honey that contains 10 mg HMF/kg honey. In group 4 and 5, there were honeys that contain significantly high HMF content due to long storage period (181 mg HMF/kg honey) and heat process (140 mg HMF/kg honey). At the end of the feeding process, biochemical blood parameters of rats were investigated. It was observed that there were no differences among the glucose, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, uric acid, Na, GGT, and ALP parameters of the groups. On the other hand, significant differences were observed among the cholesterol, LDL, BUN, creatinine, Ca, P, Mg, K, Cl, total bilirubin, LDH, CPK, AST, ALT, total protein, and pseudocholinesterase values of the rats. The highest adverse effects were obtained from group HMF, and it was followed by groups SH (stored honey) and HH (heated honey). It can be concluded that high HMF content of honey may affect the human health adversely; thus, HMF in honey must be controlled by beekeepers.
Keywords: Biochemical parameters; HMF; Heat treatment; Honey; Rat; Storage.