The objective of the present study was: i) to characterize Mediterranean citrus honeys based on conventional physicochemical parameter values, volatile compounds, and mineral content ii) to investigate the potential of above parameters to differentiate citrus honeys according to geographical origin using chemometrics. Thus, 37 citrus honey samples were collected during harvesting periods 2013 and 2014 from Greece, Egypt, Morocco, and Spain. Conventional physicochemical and CIELAB colour parameters were determined using official methods of analysis and the Commission Internationale de l' Eclairage recommendations, respectively. Minerals were determined using ICP-OES and volatiles using SPME-GC/MS. Results showed that honey samples analyzed, met the standard quality criteria set by the EU and were successfully classified according to geographical origin. Correct classification rates were 97.3% using 8 physicochemical parameter values, 86.5% using 15 volatile compound data and 83.8% using 13 minerals.
Keywords: Characterization; Chemometrics; Citrus honey; Discrimination; Minerals; Physicochemical parameters; Volatiles.
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