PHYSICOCHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF HONEYS OF Apis mellifera L. FROM THE POLO CUESTA REGION, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
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Variations in the physicochemical parameters and mineral content of honey may occur according to the region where the honey is produced. The region of Polo Cuesta comprises a number of towns in the state of Sao Paulo and plays an important role in the national honey industry. Knowledge of the quality of the honey produced in this region can make it a product with its own specific characteristics related to soil type, climate and environmental, social and cultural factors, adding value to the product. The aim of this study was to assay the physicochemical parameters (ashes, pH, acidity, insoluble solids, color, presence of commercial glucose, Fiehe's test, Lund's reaction, and Lugol's reaction) of honey samples obtained from Eucalyptus, Citrus and wild honey, and to quantify mineral content (calcium, copper, sulfur, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc) by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. All samples were within the limits of physicochemical parameters established by the legislation, except for moisture. In this study, 14.3% of the Eucalyptus samples, 75% of the Citrus samples and all wild honey samples had a moisture content above 20%. The mineral content of the samples varied according to botanical origin. The honey produced by Apis mellifera L. bees in the region of Polo Cuesta shows satisfactory physicochemical parameters. This study may provide recommendations for beekeepers to enhance good practices in honey harvesting, processing and storage in order to improve its quality.
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