Metal Content of Southern Italy Honey of Different Botanical Origins and Its Correlation with Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Activity
Article first published online: 12 JUN 2012
Seventy-eight samples of southern Italy honey from five different floral origins (chestnut, eucalyptus, citrus, multifloral and sulla) were screened to quantify the polyphenol and metal contents, evaluate the antioxidant activity and determine the correlations between the parameters analysed. The average polyphenol content was 12.06 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100 g honey and 7.92 mg quercetin equivalent per 100 g honey, for total phenolic and flavonoid contents, respectively. The antioxidant activity ranged from 58.40% (eucalyptus honey) to 60.42% (chestnut honey) in the ABTS assay, from 152.65 μm Fe (II) (citrus honey) to 881.34 μm Fe (II) (chestnut honey) in the FRAP assay, and from 54.29% (citrus honey) to 78.73% (chestnut honey) in the DPPH assay. Fe and Zn were the most abundant among the tested metals, while Cd, Co and Mo were those less present. Chestnut honey presented the highest polyphenol content, antioxidant activity and metal content. The correlations between the analysed parameters were statistically significant. The correlations between metal content and both total phenolic and antioxidant activities were particularly interesting, suggesting a relationship between metal and polyphenol contents in honey.