Free Access
Volume 29, Number 5, 1998
Page(s) 377 - 389
Apidologie 29 (1998) 377-389
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19980501

Venezuelan stingless bee honeys characterized by multivariate analysis of physicochemical properties

Patricia Vita, Livia Persano Oddob, Maria Luisa Maranob and Eddy Salas de Mejiasc

a  Departamento Ciencia de los Alimentos, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela
b  Istituto Sperimentale per la Zoologia Agraria, Sezione Apicoltura, Via Leonida Rech 36, 00156 Rome, Italy
c  Departamento Química de Alimentos, Instituto Nacional de Higiene 'RafaelRangel', Ciudad Universitaria, Caracas, Venezuela

Abstract - Stingless bee honey samples collected from 27 nests in Venezuela, were analysed for ten compositional factors (acidity, ash, electrical conductivity, diastase activity, hydroxymethylfurfural, invertase activity, nitrogen, reducing sugars, sucrose and water). The entomological origin of the honeys based on these factors was explored using three methods of multivariate analysis. Clustering was adequate to separate the honey samples into two stingless bee tribes with the exception of honeys from one genus ofTrigonini. Principal component analysis confirmed these findings and grouped the honeys to species level. Although discriminant analysis of the ten quality factors under consideration positioned all the samples in their respective entomological group, lowering the number of variables to reducing sugars, sucrose and diastase activity was still satisfactory for a correct classification. A fourth variable that could be used to assign correct membership was either acidity or nitrogen content. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: honey / multivariate analysis / physicochemical properties / stingless bees / Venezuela