Analytical studies on honey
The floral and the geographical origins of honey can be determined by microscopic examination of the pollen present, however this technique cannot be applied to highly strained or pollen free honeys. Thus, there is a need for a chemical technique that can be applied to such samples. This present work was undertaken with the help of the British Beekeepers Association and their members, who provided honey samples of known origin within the United Kingdom for chemical evaluation and comparison. There were 192 samples of English honey from the U. K. survey and an additional 69 samples including those of foreign origin obtained from various sources. A selection of 11 foreign and 5 English honeys were examined for proteins present by the technique of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulphate. This approach was abandoned since preliminary studies indicated that a correlation between the proteins and the geographical origin was not possible. For 256 samples out of the 261, the free amino acids and the pollens present were examined. The free ninhydrin positive substances were separated by ionexchange chromatography and then concentrated. Forty ninhydrin positive substances were detected by a combination of paper electrophoresis and chromatography and 28 of these compounds were identified. quantitative measurements of the concentration of 13 detectable amino acids were made on an automatic amino acid analyser. The average concentration of the 13 amino acids of the 191 samples of the U. K. survey and those of the 5 predominant pollens of the U. K. have been given in Table A. The major floral sources of-each honey were confirmed by quantitative pollen analysis of the original sample. It was found that by performing discriminant analysis using the computer package Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) that the amino acid concentration measurements could be correlated to the floral source of the samples examined, provided the sub-group samples were sufficiently large. The overall pattern of floral sources coupled with the detection of ninhydrin positive substances can be used successfully to categorise unspecified samples. This is then followed by correlation, in some cases, with amino acid concentration measurements using the SPSS to predict a definite geographical region. The potential role of using the SPSS predictive classifications to evaluate the following aspects of honey production were indicated to be successful. These aspects were: honeydew and nectar honeyst feeding sugar to honeybees, the effects of heating honey, adulteration especially with foreign honeys and/or commercial sugar products, commercial processing methods and floral source with reference to plant family.