ORGANIC ACIDS AND PHYSICO-CHEMICAL PARAMETERS OF ROMANIAN SUNFLOWER HONEY

Daniela PAULIUC, Mircea OROIAN

Abstract

The samples of sunflower honey collected from Romania were analyzed in order to characterize them from the physico-chemical point of view. Melissopalynological analysis, together with the determination of organic acids and physico-chemical parameters (color, moisture, free acidity, pH, electrical conductivity, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content, DPPH radical scavenging activity) were chosen as methods for honey characterization. The results of the melissopalynological analysis showed that all honey samples had a high percentage of Helianthus annuus pollen grains and these results help to classify the samples as monofloral honey. The values determined for electrical conductivity (314.82 - 440.55 µS/cm), color (32.87 - 47.52 mm Pfund), pH (3,65 - 4.34) confirmed the purity of the samples. In the case of moisture content, all the sunflower honey samples complied with the limit imposed by Codex Alimentarius (20%). The HMF content ranged  between 2.66 and10.96 mg HMF/kg,which showed that the samples were fresh and had a HMF value below the limit of 40 mg HMF/kg.  The DPPH radical scavenging activity ranged between 60.24 and 76.95 %. Gluconic acid was the organic acid predominant in all honey samples. These results led to an accurate classification of the analyzed honey according to its botanical origin, namely sunflower honey.

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