Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Food Chem Toxicol, 2011 Nov 15
Bee pollen is an important natural product, used in the folk medicine, clinical practices, food and pharmaceutical industries. This work intends to characterise, for the first time in Portugal, the palynological origin, nutritional value and microbiological security of bee pollen.
Moisture content, ash, a(w), pH, reducing sugars, carbohydrate, proteins, lipids, fatty acids and energy were the specific parameters analysed. Aerobic mesophiles, moulds and yeasts, fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and sulphite-reducing clostridia were the microorganisms studied.
The most frequent plant families from a total of 10 taxa identified were Boraginaceae and Ericaceae. Portuguese bee pollens are nutritionally well-balanced and revealed high levels of moisture, proteins, fat, energy, ash, carbohydrates, reducing sugars, essential n-3 fatty acids and good ratios of PUFA/SFA. In fact, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) represent 66% of the total fatty acids.
Microbiologically, the commercial quality was good. All samples showed negative results for toxigenic species.