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Nectar Flavonol rhamnosides are floral markers of acacia (Robinia pseudacacia) honey



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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Oct 8;56(19):8815-24. doi: 10.1021/jf801625t. Epub 2008 Aug 27.

Nectar Flavonol rhamnosides are floral markers of acacia (Robinia pseudacacia) honey.

Truchado P1, Ferreres F, Bortolotti L, Sabatini AG, Tomás-Barberán FA.

  • 1Research Group on Quality, Safety and Bioactivity of Plant Food, CEBAS-CSIC, P.O. Box 164, Espinardo Murcia 30100, Spain.


With the objective of finding floral markers for the determination of the botanical origin of acacia (robinia) honey, the phytochemicals present in nectar collected from Robinia pseudacacia flowers were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Eight flavonoid glycosides were detected and characterized as kaempferol combinations with rhamnose and hexose. Acacia honey produced in the same location where the nectar was collected contained nectar-derived kaempferol rhamnosides. This is the first time that flavonoid glycosides have been found as honey constituents. Differences in the stability of nectar flavonoids during honey elaboration and ripening in the hive were shown to be due to hydrolytic enzymatic activity and to oxidation probably related to hydrogen peroxide (glucose-oxidase) activity. Acacia honeys contained propolis-derived flavonoid aglycones (468-4348 microg/100 g) and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives (281-3249 microg/100 g). In addition, nectar-derived kaempferol glycosides were detected in all of the acacia honey samples analyzed (100-800 microg/100 g). These flavonoids were not detected in any of the different honey samples analyzed previously from different floral origins other than acacia. Finding flavonoid glycosides in honey related to floral origin is particularly relevant as it considerably enlarges the number of possible suitable markers to be used for the determination of the floral origin of honeys.



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