European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 9, pp 2017–2026 | Cite as

Physicochemical properties, colour, chemical composition, and antioxidant activity of Spanish Quercus honeydew honeys

  • M. José Jara-Palacios
  • Francisco José Ávila
  • M. Luisa Escudero-Gilete
  • Antonio Gómez Pajuelo
  • Francisco J. Heredia
  • Dolores HernanzEmail author
  • Anass Terrab
Original Paper


The emergent market for honeydew honeys in Europe prompt to increasing requirements of consumers and honey industry for the characterisation of this type of honey. The aim of this study was to characterise 59 samples of Spanish oak honeydew honeys. Physicochemical properties showed values within the limits established by the legislation and typical for honeydew honeys. Honeys were differentiated into two groups according to the hue (hab) and all were classified as dark honeys (L* < 55). A total of 14 minerals were determined, with K, P, Mg, and Ca being the most abundant. The development and validation of an HPLC method allowed the determination of the contents of two monosaccharides, five disaccharides, and two trisaccharides. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents showed mean values of 130.2 mg/100 g and 11.3 mg/100 g of honey, respectively. Honeydew honeys showed ability to scavenge free radicals and to inhibit lipid peroxidation, which is very interesting, because, as far as we know, there are no previous studies for this type of honey. Results showed that all honeydew honeys are a source of chemical compounds with nutritional and antioxidant properties that could be of interest for consumers and food industry.


Oak honey Minerals Sugars Phenols Flavonoids Antioxidant activity 



Catechin equivalents


Gallic acid equivalents




Limit of detection


Limit of quantification


Differential refractive index detector


Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances


Trolox equivalent


Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity


Total flavonoid content


Total phenolic content



The authors would like to thank the following Spanish beekeepers for providing the honey samples: AlpuMiel, Apicasfer SL, Apicultura Moisés, Erica Mel SCG, Mel de L’Avi Lluis, Mel Muria, Miel La Puela SL, Mielar SA, Mieles Sala Higón SL, Mielso SL., Montemiel SC, Naturval Apícola SLU, Primo Mendoza SL, Rodríguez Robledo, Sierra Miel SC, and Torrons i Mel Alemany SL. The authors also acknowledge the assistance of the technical staff of Biology Service (SGI, Universidad de Sevilla).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food Colour and Quality Laboratory, Área de Nutrición y Bromatología, Facultad de FarmaciaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Facultad de FarmaciaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  3. 3.Pajuelo Consultores ApícolasCastellónSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Vegetal y Ecología, Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de SevillaSevilleSpain

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