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  • a Szent István University, H-1118 Budapest, Somlói út 14–16, Hungary
  • b Semmelweis University, H-1088 Budapest, Vas utca 17, Hungary

Honey is produced by honeybees from nectar, sap of plant parts, or the juicy material secreted by sucking insects living on trees. It is rich in nutritionally useful components, the occurrence of which highly depends on the botanical and geographical origin of honey. Our goal is to develop a new, rapid, and accurate combination of analytical methods for identification of botanical and geographical origin.

Physicochemical parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, moisture, and ash content), colour (L*a*b*), and antioxidant properties were determined in addition to correlative techniques, such as electronic tongue and near infrared spectroscopy. For the statistical evaluation ANOVA, principal component analysis, and linear discriminant analysis were applied.

Results showed significant differences (P<0.05) in physicochemical properties, colour, and antioxidant capacity according to the botanical origin of honeys. Electronic tongue (ET) and near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) techniques were useful in the identification of the botanical and geographical origin, showing generally good accuracy.

The physicochemical parameters are important and can serve as reference methods, completing NIR and ET as target techniques, which are promising, but need further improvement for the determination of honey origin.

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