Control of honey frauds is needed in Ecuador to
protect bee keepers and consumers because simple syrups and new
syrups with eucalyptus are sold as genuine honeys. Authenticity of
Ecuadorian commercial honeys was tested with a vortex emulsion
consisting on one volume of honey:water (1:1) dilution, and two
volumes of diethyl ether. This method allows a separation of phases
in one minute to discriminate genuine honeys that form three phase
and fake honeys that form two phases; 34 of the 42 honeys analyzed
from five provinces of Ecuador were genuine. This was confirmed
with 1H NMR spectra of honey dilutions in deuterated water with an
enhanced amino acid region with signals for proline, phenylalanine
and tyrosine. Classic quality indicators were also tested with this
method (sugars, HMF), indicators of fermentation (ethanol, acetic
acid), and residues of citric acid used in the syrup manufacture. One
of the honeys gave a false positive for genuine, being an admixture of
genuine honey with added syrup, evident for the high sucrose.
Sensory analysis was the final confirmation to recognize the honey
groups studied here, namely honey produced in combs by Apis
mellifera, fake honey, and honey produced in cerumen pots by
Geotrigona, Melipona, and Scaptotrigona. Chloroform extractions of
honey were also done to search lipophilic additives in NMR spectra.
This is a valuable contribution to protect honey consumers, and to
develop the beekeeping industry in Ecuador.
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