Mineral content analysis of unifloral honeys from the Hungarian Great Plain
Ördög A., Tari I., Zoltán B., Poór P.
Honey is a key product of the traditional agriculture in Hungary and an important export commodity of the Hungarian commerce. The content of metals in honeys is essential for food quality and safety, in addition to which it provides elemental fingerprints about the region where the honey was collected. The aim of this study was to determine and compare the element content of black locust, oilseed rape and sunflower honey samples collected from the southern part of the Hungarian Great Plain. The major (K and Mg), trace (Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, B, Al, Co, Ni, Se and Mo) and toxic elements (As, Pb and Cd) of the samples were determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed to compare the mineral content of the different honey types. Our analyses revealed that K was the most abundant element in the investigated honey samples. Among the trace elements, B, Fe, Zn and Cu were found in the highest concentrations. Sunflower honey contained the highest concentrations of K, Mg and Mn, while oilseed rape honey showed the highest B content. The mineral content of honeys decreased in order of sunflower, oilsed rape and black locust. There were no differences among the honey types in the toxic element content (As, Pb and Cd), which was under the detection limit in many honey samples. According to the multivariate method, the Mg, B, Al, K and Zn contents are considered to be the most important indicator for distinguishing the investigated honey samples and types. The results obtained from the mineral content analyses showed that differences in major, trace and toxic elements between Hungarian unifloral honeys as well as a detailed comparison of honeys with different geographic origins can be used for quality assessment.
Ördög A., Tari I., Zoltán B., Poór P. 2017. Mineral content analysis of unifloral honeys from the Hungarian Great Plain. J.Elem., 22(1): 271 - 281. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2016.21.2.1067
Honey characterization, Hungarian honey, ICP-MS, mineral content, unifloral honey