The philosophy of the present work was to investigate the volatile profile, pigment content, and in vitro radical scavenging activity of Hellenic honeys, using aqueous honey solutions. Twenty-one honey samples representing flower, thyme and fir honeys were donated from professional beekeepers during two consecutive harvesting years, from three different regions in Hellas.
Volatile profile was estimated using headspace solid phase micro extraction coupled to gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (HSPME-GC/MS). For semi-quantification purposes the internal standard method was used. Pigment content along with the in vitro radical scavenging activity was determined using spectrophotometric methods.
Results showed that the twenty-one honeys analyzed exhibited variations in volatile profile, pigment content and antioxidant activity depending on the floral source (p<0.05). Honey aroma was found to be the outcome of the combination of different class compounds, namely: carboxylic acids, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, benzene derivatives, etc. The most pronounced aromas were recorded for flower honey, whereas fir honey possessed the highest pigment content and radical scavenging activity (p<0.05). In addition, specific volatiles (2-hydroxy-benzoic acid methyl ester, alpha-pinene, para-cymene, and delta-3-carene) were perfectly correlated (Pearson’s correlation coefficient r = 1) with radical scavenging activity (p<0.01).
The present results enhance the quality control and authenticity of Hellenic honey and may be of great interest to a wider audience including: consumers, honey industry, and honey researchers, at an international level.
Citation: Karabagias IK, Dimitriou E, Halatsi, E, Nikolaou C. 2017. Volatile Profile, Pigment Content, and In Vitro Radical Scavenging Activity of Flower, Thyme, and Fir Honeys Produced in Hellas. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 3(3): 98-104