Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mexican Honey Highly Variable in Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidant Activity of Artisanal Honey from Tabasco, Mexico
International Journal of Food Properties, Volume 14, Issue 2, 2011, Pages 459 - 470

Potential claims for honey, floral variety and their health properties are relevant for small farmers and artisan producers.

The antioxidant activity of honey samples from cacao farms, mangrove, citrus, and coconut groves from Mexico was established by applying a multiple-method approach, which included determination of the level of total phenolic compounds and total flavonoids.

Total phenolics and total flavonoids ranged from 51 to 134 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/100 g honey and from 29.6 to 187.1 mg rutin equivalents/100 g honey respectively. Methanolic and aqueous solutions had similar profiles for inhibition of 2,2'-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical (range from 33 to 85%) but the aqueous solutions tended to show lower radical scavenging properties. Linear correlations were established between flavonoids contents and percentage inhibition of DPPH, but phenolics contents were not well correlated (R2 = 0.68) to the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) values which showed wide ranges from 48 to 152 mg Trolox/100 g honey.

No patterns could be found in relation to antioxidant activities and the agrifood system of origin, floral availability, collection location, or season. Artisan honey samples from Tabasco were highly variable in their antioxidant properties, possibly because of the biodiversity and seasonal variations, which contribute to their unique nature. The antioxidant tests used in this study could be useful to verify the antioxidant function of honey.

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