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Quality control of honey using spectroscopic methods
chapterposted on 31.10.2018, 00:00 by Daniel Cozzolino, E Corbella, HE Smyth
Honey is a naturally sweet and viscous fluid produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera)from the nectar of flowers that, by definition, does not include any other substances. This food is a carbohydrate rich syrup produced by bees, primarily from floral nectars where fructose and glucose are the major components but a large number of other chemical compounds are present in small quantities (e.g. proteins, minerals). Overall, the chemical composition of honey varies depending on plant source, season, production methods and storage conditions. Analytical methods applied to honey generally deal with different topics such as determination of botanical or geographical origin, quality control according to the current standards and detection of adulteration or residues. Traditional chemical composition analysis and physical properties assessment are routinely performed in commercial trading of honey using time consuming analytical methods that require considerable sample preparation and analytical skills. Spectroscopic techniques in the infrared (IR) wavelength region of the electromagnetic spectrum have been used in the food industry to monitor and evaluate the composition of foods, becoming one of the most attractive and used methods for analysis. This chapter reviews and discusses the use, with advantages and limitations, of IR spectroscopy technologies to evaluate and monitor the composition of honey.