Degradation of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural in honey.J Food Sci. 2008 Nov; 73(9):C625-31.JF
5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is the most important intermediate product of the acid-catalyzed dehydration reaction of hexoses and/or Maillard reaction; furthermore, it is the most used index to evaluate thermal damages or ageing in food products. Usually its degradation reactions, being very slow, are neglected. This study reports the findings concerning the degradation kinetics of HMF, in honeys of different floral origin at a temperature between 25 and 50 degrees C. The results highlighted higher degradation rates (k(HMF) (degradation)) compared to the corresponding formation rates (k(HMF) (formation)) in chestnut and citrus samples. Similar k-values were found in multifloral honey. Moreover, the reaction of HMF degradation was characterized by lower activation energy (E(a)) values compared to E(a) formation values. The final concentration of HMF in honey, during storage at room temperature, should be ascribed to high sugar concentration. The fluctuation of HMF in honeys could depend on the equilibrium between the accumulation and the degradation processes. This can affect the validity of HMF as storage index in some honeys, above all during the analysis of those honeys whose legislation is too restrictive (citrus) or in chestnut honey analysis where it does not accumulate.