Elemental Profile of Propolis from Different Areas of Serbia

Chem Biodivers. 2023 Mar;20(3):e202201140. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.202201140. Epub 2023 Mar 3.


Propolis is a resinous natural substance collected by honeybees from different plant sources. The element content of propolis is influenced by the content of elements in the soil, climatic factors, and the degree of pollution. The aim of the study was to characterize element composition and content of toxic elements in 51 propolis collected from different locations in Serbia and to evaluate the differences among them. Determination of the 21 elements were performed using Inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometry. K was the most abundant element, followed by Ca, Mg, Si, Fe, Zn, and Al. The microelements B, Ba, Mn, Na, Pb, and Ti were also present in propolis, while Co, Cr, Cu, Mo, Ni, Sr, and V were found in trace. Toxic elements such as Pb, As, and Cd were found in the trace. Kruskal-Wallis tests differentiate groups of samples by geographical origin. The presence of B, Fe, Sr, Ti, Zn, and As demonstrated statistical significance between six regions of Serbia.

Keywords: ICP-OES; element content; geographical origin; potentially toxic metals; propolis from Serbia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Lead
  • Propolis*
  • Serbia
  • Spectrum Analysis


  • Propolis
  • Lead