Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Honey – it’s not always what it seems

By Janette Busch

Honey – it’s not always what it seems

Honey is a tasty, high energy food valued for its taste, colour and unique combination of nutrients that is eaten regularly in New Zealand.

As natural products, honeys can vary considerably in their composition depending on the flowers or plants the bees visit. Some honeys in New Zealand come from nectar collected from several different flowers while many are collected from mostly one type of flower and these are called mono-floral honeys.

Patchanee Boontaganon, a PhD student in the Food Group at Lincoln University undertook a comprehensive physical and chemical analysis of 74 New Zealand honeys and discovered that 29 out of 64 mono-floral honey samples bought from New Zealand supermarkets were not true to label based on pollen count (the other ten honeys were from a variety of different plants).

Patchanee used standard industry analytical methods to confirm the floral identity and nutritional contents of the honey. She used analytical methods to quantify hydrogen peroxide content and antioxidant activity in honey.

Hydrogen peroxide occurs naturally in honey and plays a major role in its antimicrobial activity while antioxidants protect against free radical damage.

“These compounds benefit the people who eat the honey,” said Patchanee.

Patchanee found that the majority of the honeys had similar results except for manuka honey and manuka honey blends, which had much higher antioxidants, hydrogen peroxide and was a darker colour than clover honey.

Honey producers test the honey to ensure its quality and to differentiate between honeys produced from different plants.

The New Zealand Guidelines for Mono-floral Varieties of Honey produced by the Bee Products Standards Council contain the minimum percentage of pollen needed from a specific plant before a honey can be marketed as a named (mono-floral) honey. In this study, fewer than half the manuka honeys were true to label.

As shown by Patchanee and other researchers, New Zealand’s unique manuka honey contains large amounts of several beneficial compounds and so consumers are willing to pay extra for these properties compared to a common type of honey such as clover.

“However, in view of my results, it is essential that the honey industry invests funds into ensuring all honey is true to label to maintain consumer confidence in this delicious food,” said Patchanee.

Associate Professor Geoffrey Savage from the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences was supervisor of Patchanee’s project.

He said, “Readers may be aware of publicity around another issue in the honey industry in regard to incorrect UMF (unique manuka factor) levels being put on manuka honey labels. While this is unrelated to Patchanee’s research, it highlights the importance of the honey industry ensuring the integrity in the identification of all honey, not only highly prized varieties like manuka.”

Patchanee presented her results at the NZ Nutrition Society conference in Queenstown.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Catches Breath After "Goldilocks" Slump

The New Zealand dollar edged up following its dramatic slump yesterday after the Reserve Bank confirmed speculation it intervened in the currency market last month and PM John Key suggested a “Goldilocks” level far lower than at present. More>>

ALSO:

Biosecurity: Kiwifruit Claim To Hold Officials Accountable For Psa

Kiwifruit growers have joined forces to hold Biosecurity NZ accountable in the courts for its negligence in allowing 2010’s Psa outbreak that devastated New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry and exports. Foundation claimants representing well ... More>>

ALSO:

Poison: Anglers Advised Not To Eat Trout In 1080 Areas

With the fishing season opening in just a few days (1 October 2014), anglers are being warned by the Department of Conservation(DOC) not to eat trout from pristine backcountry waters and their downstream catchments, where the department is conducting 1080 poisoning operations. More>>.

ALSO:

Quotas: MPI Swoop On Suspected Fraudulent Fishing Activity

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) compliance officers swooped on a Hawkes Bay fishing enterprise today to secure evidence in an investigation into suspected fraudulent activity... “The investigation involves activity throughout the commercial supply chain – catching, landing, processing and exporting.” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Fonterra Slashes 2015 Milk Payout, Earnings Tumble 76%

Fonterra Cooperative Group cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by about 12 percent, citing weaker global dairy prices and said there is a risk of further declines given strong global milk production. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news