Physicochemical characterization of Gozitan Honey

Everaldo Attard, Joseph Mizzi


Honey quality is clearly defined in the EU Directive 2001/110/EC, and by Codex Alimentarius (Codex Stan 12-1981) and the International Honey Commission (IHC, 2002). Our investigation aimed to characterize the physicochemical properties of honey produced on a small island, Gozo which is situated near Malta.  Ten randomly collected honey samples were analysed for moisture content, pH, free acidity, water insoluble content, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content and total phenolic compounds.  Moisture content, pH, free acidity, water insoluble content, and HMF content were within the range specified in standards but the electrical conductivity was generally higher than 0.800 mS cm-1. This may be the result of the relatively high atmospheric and soil salinity on this small island. All the samples analysed were within the 40 mg kg-1 HMF limit, which is an indicator of honey quality. The total phenolic compounds, which represent some of the constituents derived from the nectar and pollen obtained during foraging, ranged between 236.555 and 294.209 GAE kg-1 honey. Principal Component Analysis showed the properties of polyfloral honey samples obtained from the southern part of the island to be different from those obtained from the northern part.


Gozitan honey; physicochemical characterization; polyphenols

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