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: Under threat: Kenya's iconic Nairobi national park

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

State Dept computers hacked, email shut down

6 hours ago

The State Department has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down its entire unclassified email system as technicians repair possible damage from a suspected hacker attack.

Archaeologists dig at ancient site near Syrian war

17 hours ago

Archaeology and war don't usually mix, yet that's been the case for years at Karkemish, an ancient city along the Turkey-Syria border where an excavation team announced its newest finds Saturday just meters ...

Recommended for you

Evolution: The genetic connivances of digits and genitals

15 hours ago

During the development of mammals, the growth and organization of digits are orchestrated by Hox genes, which are activated very early in precise regions of the embryo. These "architect genes" are themselves regulated by ...

Study: Volunteering can help save wildlife

16 hours ago

Participation of non-scientists as volunteers in conservation can play a significant role in saving wildlife, finds a new scientific research led by Duke University, USA, in collaboration with Wildlife Conservation ...

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.