Physicochemical attributes of Nigerian natural honey from honeybees (Apis mellifera adansonii) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) and its shelf life in storage at room temperature.Pak J Biol Sci. 2012 Nov 01; 15(21):1027-33.PJ
Nigerian honey competes globally in the world honey market. The physicochemical parameters of honey samples sourced from colonies of Apis mellifera adansonii were studied with the effect of storage-time over a period of two years. This was done by analyzing and evaluating eleven common physicochemical parameters including colour, moisture content, ash content, sugar content, acidity, pH value, hydroxymethylfurfural, diastase activity, nitrogen content, insoluble matter and viscosity of honey samples with the effect of storage-time on the physicochemical parameters using Association of Official Analytical Chemists methods. Most of the honey samples showed proper maturity considering the moisture content (17.9 +/- 2.0%). The total acidity (21.5 +/- 5.6 meq kg(-1)) indicated absence of undesirable fermentation after harvest and extraction. The Mean +/- SD pH value (3.9 +/- 0.2) of the honey samples was within acceptable standards of Economic European Community (EEC) and Codex. The ash content (0.4 +/- 0.2%) (0.2-0.6%) was slightly higher than 0-0.50% of EEC and Codex standards. The fructose and glucose mean values were 38.9 +/- 0.8% and 28.3 +/- 2.4%, respectively. The Mean +/- S.D value of hydroxymethylfurfural content (8.5 +/- 2.7 mg kg(-1)) was low, while the Mean +/- SD value of diastase activity was high depicting freshness. The evaluated physicochemical parameters of two years old honey samples exhibited no significant deviation (p > 0.05) from that of the fresh samples. This study showed that natural honey if properly harvested, extracted hygienically, preserved and stored can maintain their stability relatively for at least two years at room temperature without undue interference.