Extraction of Honey Polyphenols: Method Development and Evidence of Cis Isomerization

Anal Chem Insights. 2016 Aug 10;11:49-57. doi: 10.4137/ACI.S39739. eCollection 2016.


Honey polyphenols have been studied with the objective of relating honeys to their floral sources. Initially synthesized by plant, these polyphenols can be found in the plant's nectar, which are collected by bees, which convert the nectar into honey. Consequently, polyphenols constitute minor components of honey. The development of a solid-phase extraction method for honey polyphenols is presented in this study. The technique employs Amberlite XAD-2 adsorbent and was tested on monofloral honeys from six different plants: acacia, chestnut, eucalyptus, thyme, sunflower, and wild carrot. Analyses were performed using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with UV detection and mass spectrometry. Several phenolic acids and flavonoids were identified: caffeic and p-coumaric acids, quercetin, kaempferol, naringenin, chrysin, and pinocembrin. Generally, the quantity of a given polyphenol in the honey was around 0.2 mg/100 g of honey, except for chestnut honey, which contained around 3.0 mg of p-coumaric acid/100 g of honey. Analyses highlighted significant formation of cis isomers for phenolic acids during the extraction despite protection from light.

Keywords: chromatography; honey; isomerization; polyphenols; solid-phase extraction.