Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 288–293 | Cite as

Determination of Quality Criteria that Allow Differentiation Between Honey Adulterated with Sugar and Pure Honey

  • Cevat NisbetEmail author
  • Filiz Kazak
  • Yuksel Ardalı


This study used various parameters of honey to develop a potentially more robust approach to the detection of adulterated honey. For this purpose, 25 multifloral, natural honey samples and 20 samples of adulterated honey produced by bees that had been fed supplementary sucrose syrup were analysed. The mean total phenolic content of the natural honeys was considerably higher than in the adulterated honeys at 157 ± 13 and 35.2 ± 7.3 mg GAE/100 g, respectively. Similarly, considerable variation was determined between natural and adulterated honeys in terms of total flavonoids (3.3 ± 0.3 and 2.1 ± 0.4 mg QE/100 g, respectively), antiradical activity (87.9 ± 12 and 163 ± 11 mg/mL, respectively) and proline content (202 ± 26 and 71.1 ± 21.6 mg/kg, respectively.) The potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium contents of natural honeys were also higher than in adulterated honeys (P < 0.01). In conclusion, the determination of the proline level, phenolic content, antioxidant activity and mineral profile may collectively provide a more holistic method approach to the differentiation of natural and adulterated honey, and also for comparing their food values.


Adulterated honey Antioxidant Honey composition Trace elements 



The authors thank Dr. Serhat Arslan for editing the content of this manuscript related to the statistical analysis and Gregory T. Sullivan (School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia) for editing the English in an earlier version of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineOndokuz Mayis UniversitySamsunTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineMustafa Kemal UniversityAntakyaTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Environment Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringOndokuz Mayis UniversitySamsunTurkey

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