Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stingless Bee Honey Used to Treat Cataracts

Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Analysis Allows the Simultaneous Characterization of C-Glycosyl and O-Glycosyl Flavonoids in Stingless Bee Honeys
J Chromatogr A, 2011 Jul 22

The analysis of the phytochemicals present in stingless bee honey samples has been a difficult task due to the small amounts of samples available and to the complexity of the phytochemical composition that often combines flavonoid glycosides and aglycones.

Honey samples produced in Venezuela from Melipona species were analyzed using a combination of solid-phase extraction and HPLC-DAD-MSn/ESI methodologies with specific study of the fragment ions produced from flavonoid glycosides. The analyses revealed that flavonoid glycosides were the main constituents.

The honey samples analyzed contained a consistent flavonoid pattern composed of flavone-C-glycosides, flavonol-O-glycosides and flavonoid aglycones. The HPLC-DAD-MSn/ESI analysis and the study of the fragment ions obtained allowed the characterization and quantification for the first time of five apigenin-di-C-glycosides, and ten quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin O-glycosides (di- and tri- glycosides), and the aglycones pinobanksin, quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin in the different samples.

This is the first report of flavonoid-C-glycosides in honey.

The results show that the content of flavonoid-glycosides (mean values of 2712μg/100g) in stingless bee honeys is considerably higher than the content of flavonoid aglycones (mean values of 315μg/100g). This differs from previous studies on Apis mellifera honeys that consistently showed much higher aglycone content and smaller flavonoid glycoside content.

The occurrence of relevant amounts of flavonoid glycosides, and particularly C-glycosides, in stingless bee honeys could be associated with their putative anticataract properties.

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