Free access
Volume 39, Number 3, May-June 2008
Page(s) 334 - 342
Published online 20 March 2008
Apidologie 39 (2008) 334-342
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2008009

Methyl anthranilate in Citrus honey. Analytical method and suitability as a chemical marker

Giulio Sesta1, M. Lucia Piana2, Livia Persano Oddo1, Lorenzo Lusco1 and Paola Belligoli1

1  C.R.A. - Istituto Sperimentale per la Zoologia Agraria - Sezione di Apicoltura, Roma, Italy
2  Apishare Labs and Services, Monterenzio (BO), Italy

Received 11 June 2007 - Revised 15 November 2007 - Accepted 24 January 2008 - Published online 20 March 2008

Abstract - The present work describes a method for the determination of methyl anthranilate (MA) in honey, and reports the results of a study carried out on 46 Citrus honey samples produced in different countries. The MA content was measured, and the compliance of the samples with the unifloral Citrus honey profile was verified, according to the traditional authenticity parameters (physicochemical, sensory and microscopic). The analytical results show that MA values do not significantly differ in unifloral and not unifloral samples. More generally, no relationship could be found between MA content and the level of uniflorality or any single authenticity parameter. The conclusion is that MA content can not be used as a discriminating parameter for Citrus honey, and should be used only as a further descriptive element. Among the unifloral samples the MA content was lower in those produced in Italy than in the other countries, and mostly below the 2 mg/kg limit that some European laboratories require to accept Citrus honey.

Key words: methyl anthranilate / Citrus honey / unifloral / authenticity

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2008