Sugar Spectrum, Hydroxymethylfurfural and Diastase Activity in Honey: A Validated Approach as Indicator of Possible Adulteration

Victoriţa BONTA, Daniel Severus DEZMIREAN, Liviu Alexandru MĂRGHITAŞ, Adriana Cristina URCAN, Otilia BOBIŞ


Honey is used for centuries both as nutrient and in medicine, being an exhaustless source of benefic factors for health and also for different biotechnological processes. This is a complex matrix which possesses antioxidant and antimicrobial properties due to its peroxidic activity and bioactive compounds. A fully validated approach for the determination of sugars, hydroxymethylfurfural content and diastase activity in honey samples were presented in accordance with the official methods from the International Honey Commission. Spectrophotometric method was used for diastazic activity determination and chromatographic determinations for HMF content (photodiode array detection) and sugars (refractive index detection). The limits of detection and quantification were calculated. Accuracy, precision and uncertainty were determined in the spectrophotometric and chromatographic techniques using the certified reference material. Diastase activity, sucrose content and hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content were easily differentiated and these parameters were used for indication of a possible adulteration of the honey. The present study confirms that, in order to have an authentic honey sample, diastazic activity must be above 8 DN (diastazic number) and HMF content less than 40 mg/kg. Sugar spectrum is different for every honey type. Consequently, physico-chemical analysis should be combined for the determination of authentic honey and proper labeling.


authenticity; diastase activity; honey; hydroxymethilfurfural; sugar spectrum.

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