Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 902–907 | Cite as

Determination of Free Amino Acids in Stingless Bee (Meliponinae) Honey

  • Fabíola Carina BilucaEmail author
  • José Bernal
  • Silvia Valverde
  • Ana María Ares
  • Luciano Valdemiro Gonzaga
  • Ana Carolina Oliveira Costa
  • Roseane FettEmail author


The present study aimed to investigate, for the first time, the presence of free amino acids in stingless bee (Meliponinae) honey samples from nine species, using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to fluorescence (HPLC/FLD) and HPLC coupled to mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS-single quadrupole) detectors. Seventeen free amino acids were investigated, and 16 were determined. Phenylalanine (5.20–1231 mg kg−1) and proline (12.1–762 mg kg−1) were the majority free amino acids, which were found in all the samples; on the other hand, histidine was not identified in either of the samples. The results summarized in this study confirm not only the presence, but also the diversity of free amino acids in the analyzed stingless bee honey samples.


Free amino acids Honey Stingless bees Food analysis Food composition 



We would like to express our gratitude to Carlos Airton Paganini (Epagri), Pedro Faria Gonçalves, and AMESG (Association of the Meliponiculture of slopes of the Serra Geral) for grants of samples of honey from stingless bees. Financial support from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento do Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).


This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil (CAPES grant number 001).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Fabíola C. Biluca declares that she has no conflict of interest. José L. Bernal declares that he has no conflict of interest. Silvia Valverde declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ana M. Ares declares that she has no conflict of interest. Luciano V. Gonzaga declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ana C. O. Costa declares that he has no conflict of interest. Roseane Fett declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Not applicable

Supplementary material

12161_2018_1427_MOESM1_ESM.docx (144 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 144 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and Technology, Laboratory of Food ChemistryFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  2. 2.I.U. CINQUIMA, Analytical Chemistry GroupUniversity of ValladolidValladolidSpain

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