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Journal of Apicultural Science

The Journal of Research Institute of Horticulture and Apicultural Research Association

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The Antioxidant Activity of Maltese Honey

Natacha Meinen / Liberato Camilleri
  • Statistics and Operations Research, Faculty of Science, University of Malta, Msida, MSD2080 Malta
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Everaldo Attard
  • Corresponding author
  • Division of Rural Sciences and Food Systems, Institute of Earth Systems, University of Malta, Msida, MSD2080 Malta
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Published Online: 2014-05-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jas-2014-0004


Maltese honey has been valued for its medicinal properties since ancient times, so much so that the word Malta is derived from the ancient Greek word, Melite, which means honey. In this study, Maltese honey samples (n = 30) from three harvest seasons and different floral sources were analysed to determine their antioxidant/antiradical properties. Colorimetric assays were used to determine the polyphenol content, flavonoid content, and colour intensity, and these values were analysed to determine whether they correlated with radical scavenging activity as determined by bioassays. The honey samples varied in their DPPH activity (range, 3.326 - 11.865 mg AEAC/100 g honey), reducing power (EC 50 range: 5.632 - 14.453 mg/ml), total phenolic content (range, 8.114 - 109.765 mg TAE/100 g honey), total flavonoids (range, 0.655 - 212.865 mg RE/100 g honey), and colour intensity (range, 0.000 - 99.581 mm Pfund). The data were subjected to factor analysis using principal components. The antioxidant properties correlated significantly with total polyphenol content and colour (p<0.0001). Principal components analysis revealed three clusters of honey corresponding to the three harvest seasons.

Keywords: antioxidant activity; flavonoids; Maltese honey; PCA; phenols


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About the article

Received: 2013-01-18

Accepted: 2014-02-05

Published Online: 2014-05-27

Published in Print: 2014-06-01

Citation Information: Journal of Apicultural Science, Volume 58, Issue 1, Pages 51–60, ISSN (Online) 2299-4831, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/jas-2014-0004.

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© by Everaldo Attard. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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