Food Science and Technology Project Topics

The Physicochemical Properties of Two Different Honeys

The Physicochemical Properties of Two Different Honeys

The Physicochemical Properties of Two Different Honeys

Chapter One

Objective of the Study

            The objective of this project work is to compare the physicochemical properties of honey from different location Owo and Okeagbe Akoko.




            Honey has been used as a food and medical product since the earliest times. It is a natural substance produced by honeybees, Apis mellifera, from the nectar of blossoms or from exudates of trees and plants giving nectar honeys or honeydews, respectively. As the only available natural sweetener, honey was an important food for Homo sapiens from his very beginnings. Indeed, the relationship between bees and man started as early as the Stone Age (Crane, 2003). The first written reference to honey, on a Sumerian tablet dating back to 2100–2000 BC, mentions the use of honey as a drug and an ointment (Crane, 2005). In most ancient cultures honey was used for both nutritional and medical purposes (Jones, 2001; Crane, 2005; Allsop and Miller, 2006; Crane, 2009). According to the bible, King Solomon said: “Eat honey my son, because it is good” (Old Testament, proverb 24:13). The belief that honey is a nutrient, a drug and an ointment has continued to the present time. For a long time in human history it was an important source of carbohydrates and the only widely available sweetener, until the production of industrial sugar began to replace it after 1800 (Crane, 2005).

In the long human tradition honey has been used not only as a nutrient but also as a medicine (Jones, 2001). Honey has been used in many cultures for its medicinal properties, including as a remedy for burns, cataracts, ulcers and wound healing, simply because it has a soothing effect when initially applied to open wounds (Coulston, 2000). Given its physical properties, honey provides a protective barrier and, owing to its high osmolarity, creates a moist wound-healing environment in the form of a solution that does not stick to wounded tissues. This moist wound environment is believed to prevent bacterial colonisation. Thus, honey reduces inflammation and also reduces exudate formation more promptly than standard treatments (Coulston, 2000). Currently, information on the use of honey for the treatment of many human diseases can be found in general magazines, beekeeping journals and natural products leaflets, suggesting a wide variety of unfounded properties. An alternative medicine branch, called apitherapy, has developed in recent years, offering treatments based on honey and other bee products for many diseases.

At present the annual world honey production is about 1.2 million tons, which is less than 1% of the total sugar production. The consumption of honey differs greatly from country to country. The major honey exporting countries, China and Argentina, have small annual consumption rates of 0.1–0.2 kg per capita. Honey consumption is higher in developed countries, where domestic production does not always meet the market demand. In the European Union, which is both a major honey importer and producer, the annual consumption per capita varies from medium (0.3–0.4 kg) in Italy, France, Great Britain, Denmark and Portugal to high (1–1.8 kg) in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Hungary and Greece, while in countries such as the USA, Canada and Australia the average per capita consumption is 0.6–0.8 kg/year (Bogdanov et al., 2008).

Composition of Honey

The composition of honey is rather variable and primarily depends on the floral source; however, certain external factors also play a role, such as seasonal and environmental factors and processing. Honey contains at least 181 substances (Chow, 2002); it is a supersaturated solution of sugars, mainly composed of fructose (38%) and glucose (31%), containing also minerals, proteins, free amino acids, enzymes and vitamins (Pérez, 2002; Terrab et al., 2003). A wide range of minor constituents is also present in honey, many of which are known to have antioxidant properties. These include phenolic acids and flavonoids (Martos et al., 2000; Tomas-Barberán et al., 2001; Dimitrova et al., 2007), certain enzymes (glucose oxidase, catalase) (Molan and Betts, 2004) and amino acids (González-Paramás et al., 2006; Patzold and Bruckner, 2006; Pérez et al., 2007). Summarising the data shown in Table 1, it can be concluded that the contribution of honey to the recommended daily intake (RDI) is small. However, its importance with respect to nutrition lies in its manifold physiological effects (Heitkamp and Busch-Stockfisch, 2006). It should be noted that the composition of honey depends greatly on its botanical origin (Persano-Oddo and Piro, 2004), a fact that has seldom been considered in nutritional and physiological studies.








Two different types of honey was purchased, the first honey (Original honey) was purchased in Oke-agbe Akoko, while the second honey (Sunshine honey [artificial]) was purchased in Alagbaka Akure. The analyses were carried out in chemistry laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.


            The honeys were subjected to physicochemical and phytochemical analysis in the chemistry laboratory of Food Science and Technology




Table 4.1: Physicochemical Properties of Honey from Owo and Okeagbe Akoko





The study investigate the physicochemical properties of honey from two different honey purchased in Owo and Okeagbe Akoko, the physicochemical results revealed that both sample contain low moisture content, this contributes to its quality and prevent it from being degraded by microorganisms, although HFOA was recorded to have the least content of honey. There was no significant difference between sample HFO and HFOA, HFO was recorded to have higher value in ash content, pH and TTA. The lower value of pH found in HFOA indicate that its more acidic compared to HFO. The little differences observed in some of these parameters are attributed to their different flora sources.


Based on the findings in this study, it is therefore recommended that further researcher should be carried out the antioxidant and phytochemical properties of honey from different location as used in this study.



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