Exploratory Monitoring of the Quality and Authenticity of Commercial Honey in Ecuador

Foods. 2019 Mar 20;8(3):105. doi: 10.3390/foods8030105.


Honey is one of the oldest sweetening foods and has economic importance, making this product attractive to adulteration with cheap sugars. This can cause a critical problem in the honey industry and a possible health risk. The present work has the aim of evaluating the authenticity of honey commercialized in two different provinces of Ecuador (Pichincha and Loja) by performing physicochemical and spectroscopic analyses. For this study 25 samples were collected from different places and markets and characterized by water, sucrose, reducing sugars and electric conductivity measurement. Also, their Raman and Infrared (IR) spectra were recorded and analysed using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in order to verify the quality of the honeys. In addition, a screening of several pesticides was performed in order to verify possible chemical threats to human health and honey bees. It was found that 8 samples have a deviation from the Standard established parameters. Two of them have a high difference in the content of sucrose and reducing sugars, which are located deviated from all the other samples in the PCA of the applied vibrational spectroscopy (IR/Raman), shaping two clear clusters. The results show that Raman and IR spectroscopy is appropriate techniques for the quality control of honey and correlates well with the physicochemical analyses.

Keywords: Honey; Raman spectroscopy; adulteration; chemometric; infrared spectroscopy.