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Revista Colombiana de Ciencias Químico - Farmacéuticas

Print version ISSN 0034-7418On-line version ISSN 1909-6356


SILVA, Gabriel S. et al. Official labeled and unlabeled Brazilian honey. Comparison between physicochemical, microbiological, and microscopic parameters. Rev. colomb. cienc. quim. farm. [online]. 2021, vol.50, n.2, pp.457-475.  Epub Nov 04, 2021. ISSN 0034-7418.


Honey is a natural substance produced by bees mainly from flower nectar with high nutritional value. However, many commercialized samples are adulterated or falsified.


We bought twelve honey samples in markets in the city of Betim (Brazil) and analyzed their acidity, pH, electrical conductivity, insoluble matter, ashes, moisture content, presence of mesophile bacteria, molds, yeasts, total coliforms, Salmonella spp. and the presence of pollen grains.


Considering all honey samples, the average pH was 3.8 ± 0.5 and the average free acidity was 29.8 ± 6.6 mEq/kg. Considering acidity, we found the average of lactonic acidity 6.4 ± 2.4 mEq/kg and a total average acidity of 36.2 ± 6.9 mEq/kg. The average moisture content was 19.4 ± 1.0 %, the average electrical conductivity was 391.6 ± 168.6 μS/ cm, the average amount of ashes was 0.5 ± 0.8 % and the average insoluble matter was 0.08 ± 0.02 %. Only the moisture was significantly different between the two groups and ten honey samples had pollen grains.


The quality parameters of the labeled and unlabeled samples were not significantly different, although two samples of unlabeled honey were fraudulent, mainly due to the absence of pollen grains. Identifying the presence or absence of pollen in the samples is a safe, economical, and reliable first step for verifying the authenticity of the honey.

Keywords : Physical-chemical analysis; microbiological analysis; honey; pollen.

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