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Volume 38, Number 5, September-October 2007
Page(s) 438 - 452
Published online 15 August 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 438-452
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007027

Authentication of the botanical origin of honey using profiles of classical measurands and discriminant analysis

Kaspar Ruoffa, b, Werner Luginbühla, Verena Kilchenmanna, Jacques Olivier Bosseta, Katharina von der Ohec, Werner von der Ohec and Renato Amadòb

a  Swiss Bee Research Centre / Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux, Schwarzenburgstr.161, 3003 Berne, Switzerland
b  Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, ETH-Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 9, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
c  Nds. Landesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Institut für Bienenkunde Celle, Herzogin-Eleonore-Allee 5, 29221 Celle, Germany

(Received 14 April 2006 - Revised 12 February 2007 - Accepted 2 June 2007 - Published online 15 August 2007)

Abstract - The potential of physical and chemical measurands for the determination of the botanical origin of honey by using both the classical profiling approach and chemometrics was evaluated for the authentication of ten unifloral (acacia, rhododendron, chestnut, dandelion, heather, lime, rape, fir honeydew, metcalfa honeydew) and polyfloral honey types (in total n = 693 samples). The classical approach using a profile for the determination of the botanical origin of honey revealed that the physical and chemical measurands alone do not allow a reliable determination. Pollen analysis is therefore essential for discrimination between unifloral and polyfloral honeys. However, chemometric evaluation of the physical and chemical data by linear discriminant analysis allowed reliable authentication with neither specialized expertise nor pollen or sensory analysis. The error rates calculated by Bayes' theorem ranged from 1.1% (rape and lime honeys) up to 9.9 % (acacia honey).

Key words: unifloral honey / botanical origin / pollen analysis / chemometry / polyfloral

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007