With the continuing globalization authenticity of food is becoming more and more important. This is especially true for highly valued types of food, such as certain olive oil, wines, honey, etc.

Determination of authenticity – both geographical and botanical – of honey is an important research topic at the UT Institute of Chemistry. Doctoral student Riin Rebane is on her way to compiling a large database of Estonian honeys characterized by amino acid content. It turns out that the pattern of contents of different amino acids is related both to geographical and to botanical origin of honey. When the database is large enough then based on the analysis results (amino acid contents) of an unknown honey sample itĀ could be possible to say whether the honey is from Estonia or not, and if yes, then what is/are the main plant(s) from which the honey has been collected.

The importance of this work is reflected by its inclusion into the daily premier TV news program of Estonia “Aktuaalne Kaamera” on 15.10.2010. The video is available online at http://uudised.err.ee/index.php?0534940&id=36846&play
The honey authenticity topic is shown from 37:38 to 40:21.

The analytical method on which the determination is based has been published in a recent article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aca.2010.04.014

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