Honey Physicochemical Properties of Three Species of the Brazilian Melipona
An Acad Bras Cienc, 2012 Jul 24
Physicochemical analyses were carried out to evaluate 27 samples of honeys from three species of the Brazilian genus Melipona (M. capixaba, M. rufiventris and M. mondury) from Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais States.
The parameters water activity (Aw), percentage of soluble solids (Brix %), pH, acidity (meq/Kg) and moisture (%) were evaluated. The honey characteristics obtained from these samples were very similar to the ones from other Melipona species. However, regarding the honey from Apis (honey bee), only the pH values were similar. The low pH value and the high acidity detected in Melipona honey are potential factors for increasing the honey shelf life because they do not provide favorable conditions for the microbial development. On the other hand, the high level of water activity favors the growth of microorganisms, especially yeast, which demands a more careful handled and storage.
The observed differences between Melipona and Apis honey reinforce the need for specific quality settings for stingless bee honey.