Free access
Volume 29, Number 4, 1998
Page(s) 305 - 314
Apidologie 29 (1998) 305-314
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980401

Hydrocarbons and monoesters of propolis waxes from Brazil

Giuseppina Negri, Maria Cristina Marcucci, Antonio Salatino and Maria Luiza Faria Salatino

Institute of Biosciences, Department of Botany, University of São Paulo, CP 11461, 05422-970 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Abstract - Waxes of 23 samples of propolis of Apis mellifera mostly from Brazil yielded monoesters as main constituents, followed by hydrocarbons. The methyl and acetyl esters of the carboxylic acids and alcohols, respectively, derived from the monoesters, and the hydrocarbons were analysed by gas chromatography/electron impact-mass spectrometry. The hydrocarbons comprise n-alkanes and alkenes, the main homologues being C 27H56, C29H60, C31H 64 and C33H68. iso-Alkanes in low amounts were found in some samples. The main carboxylic acids are C16:0, C18:0, C18:1. The primary alcohols range from C24 to C34, C30 being generally the main constituent. A wide variation in the distribution of hydrocarbons, acids and alcohols was found comparing one sample with another. The composition of propolis wax is similar to that of comb wax, which suggests that propolis waxes are probably secreted by the bees, rather than originating from plants. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis mellifera / propolis / waxes / hydrocarbon / monoester