A comprehensive analysis of 13C isotope ratios data of authentic honey types produced in China using the EA-IRMS and LC-IRMS

  • JinZhong XuEmail author
  • Xiuhong Liu
  • Bin Wu
  • YanZhong Cao
Original Article


In the current study, we have comprehensively analyzed different kinds of pure honey which was produced in various areas in China according to δ13C-EA -IRMS (AOAC method 998.12) and δ13C-LC-IRMS (proposed by the Intertek laboratory in Europe) methods. As for the δ13C-EA -IRMS method, the study was confirmed that the C4 sugar of all authentic honey samples was qualified. Further inter-laboratory comparison experiments using the δ13C-LC-IRMS method found that all authentic honey samples had Δδ13C (‰) values within the naturally occurring range of ± 1‰ for Δδ13C (‰) fru-glu. However, about 70% samples had Δδ13C (‰) values outside the range of ± 2.1‰ for Δδ13C (‰) max., indicating that a large proportion of pure honey in China can’t pass the δ13C-LC-IRMS test, although these honeys were extracted from unadulterated sources. Based on the present findings, we consider that the δ13C-LC-IRMS method is not appropriate to reliably detect adulterated honeys with C3 sugars in China.


Elemental analyzer-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (EA-IRMS) Liquid chromatography-isotope ratio mass spectrometry (LC-IRMS) Pure honey Adulterated honey C4 sugar C3 sugar 



This research project was supported by the by the Jiangxi provincial Natural Science Foundation for Youths of China (20161BAB213096).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SinoUnison Technology Co. LtdNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangxi Science and Technology Normal UniversityNanchangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Nanjing Customs Animal, Plant and Food Inspection CenterNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Qinhuangdao Customs Animal, Plant and Food Inspection CenterQinhuangdaoPeople’s Republic of China

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