Sunday, January 22, 2006

Raw Millefiori Honey is Packed Full of Antioxidants

Istituto di Chimica Biologica “Giorgio Fornaini”

Abstract: Total polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidant power of raw honey samples from two of the most common Italian varieties, i.e., Millefiori and Acacia, were evaluated. Phenolic content, expressed as caffeic acid equivalents, ranged from 12.5 to 17.5 mg/100 g and from 3 to 11 mg/100 g in Millefiori and Acacia honeys, respectively. All Millefiori samples exhibited the highest flavonoid concentration being between 1.23 and 2.93 mg catechin equivalents (CE)/100 g honey. Total flavonoids in 100 g Acacia honeys were in the range of 0.45­1.01 mg CE. Acacia honeys had lower total antioxidant power, as assessed by ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay, than Millefiori. The relationship between phenolic content and antioxidant power was discussed. Comparative experimental analysis was performed with an artificial honey and processed honeys. Raw Millefiori honey is rich in both amount and variety of antioxidant substances, and its inclusion in the diet may be recommended to complement other polyphenol sources.

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 0722 305242; fax: +39 0722 320188.

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