Influence of Botanical Origin and Chemical Composition on the Protective Effect against Oxidative Damage and the Capacity to Reduce In Vitro Bacterial Biofilms of Monofloral Honeys from the Andean Region of Ecuador

Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 23;19(1):45. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010045.


Three types of monofloral honey from the Andean regions of Ecuador (Avocado, Eucalyptus, and Rapeseed honey) were analyzed to determine their floral origin, physicochemical parameters, chemical composition, antioxidant capacity, and their capacity to reduce in vitro bacterial biofilms. The chemical composition varied considerably depending on floral origin. The highest values of bioactive compounds were found in Avocado honey, classified as dark amber in color, while the lowest values were found in Eucalyptus honey followed by Rapeseed honey, both classified as extra light amber. When compared to Eucalyptus and Rapeseed honey, Avocado honey showed a more effective superoxide scavenging activity, chelating metal ions capacity, and a higher ability to protect human erythrocyte membranes against lipid peroxidation. For antimicrobial activity, the hydrogen peroxide content and the capacity to inhibit the biofilm formation, and to remove preformed biofilm from Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae was determined. Avocado honey showed the highest values of hydrogen peroxide content, as well as the highest capacity to reduce in vitro bacterial biofilms. A correlation between color vs. phenolics content vs. superoxide scavenging activity vs. chelating metal ions capacity, and the capacity to protect human erythrocyte membranes against lipid peroxidation was found.

Keywords: Ecuadorian monofloral honey; Eucalyptus honey; Rapeseed honey; avocado honey.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Ecuador
  • Flowers
  • Honey*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / physiology
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Oxidative Stress* / drug effects
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology


  • Antioxidants
  • Protective Agents
  • Hydrogen Peroxide