Research paper: Sugar profiling of honeys for authentication and detection of adulterants using High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography

CRC researchers Khairul Islam, Cornelia Locher, and Kate Hammer have published a paper in Molecules about a method for detecting sugar adulterants in honey.


Honey adulteration, where a range of sugar syrups is used to increase bulk volume, is a common problem that has significant negative impacts on the honey industry, both economically and from a consumer confidence perspective. This paper investigates High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) for the authentication and detection of sugar adulterants in honey. The sugar composition of various Australian honeys (Manuka, Jarrah, Marri, Karri, Peppermint and White Gum) was first determined to illustrate the variance depending on the floral origin. Two of the honeys (Manuka and Jarrah) were then artificially adulterated with six different sugar syrups (rice, corn, golden, treacle, glucose and maple syrup). The findings demonstrate that HPTLC sugar profiles, in combination with organic extract profiles, can easily detect the sugar adulterants. As major sugars found in honey, the quantification of fructose and glucose, and their concentration ratio can be used to authenticate the honeys. Quantifications of sucrose and maltose can be used to identify the type of syrup adulterant, in particular when used in combination with HPTLC fingerprinting of the organic honey extracts.

Full text available here.

Islam, M. K., Sostaric, T., Lim, L. Y., Hammer, K., & Locher, C. (2020). Sugar Profiling of Honeys for Authentication and Detection of Adulterants Using High-Performance Thin Layer Chromatography. Molecules25(22), 5289.

Image: Md Khairul Islam