Honeydew honeys are better antioxidants than nectar honeys

Feb 22, 2007

A study of 36 Spanish honeys from different floral origins revealed that honeys generated by bees feeding on honeydew have greater antioxidant properties than those produced by bees feeding on nectar. The study is published in this month’s edition of the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture.

Naturally occurring antioxidants are important ingredients of many foods, and keenly sought in many ‘health foods’. They are believed to help protect people from diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and aging. They operate by mopping up potentially damaging free radicals that are released in the body. Honey is one source of antioxidants.

The composition of honey depends greatly on where honeybees collect their raw materials. There are two key types of source. First, honeybees can collect nectar from flowers, and this generates nectar honeys. Secondly they can collect fluids that exude from plants, usually after the plants have been visited by a plant-sucking insect and this generates honeydew honeys.

“Honey is a natural source of antioxidants, and among honeys, honeydew honey is the best,” says researcher Rosa Ana Pérez, who works at the Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural, Agrario y Alimentario, in Madrid, Spain.

Each of the 36 honeys was exposed to a range of physical and chemical tests. Honeys with high antioxidant properties (measured by the DPPH test) also had high total polyphenol content, net absorbance (as colour parameter), pH and electrical conductivity.

“These laboratory results show some aspects that people could use to get an idea about which honeys are likely to have the most potent antioxidant properties,” says Pérez.

Source: John Wiley & Sons

Explore further: 'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

1 hour ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

23 hours ago

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.