Physicochemical characteristics and pollen spectrum of some north-east Algerian honeys.

  • C Chefrour
  • R Draiaia
  • A Tahar
  • Y Ait Kaki
  • S Bennadja
  • MJ Battesti
Keywords: melissopalynology, physicochemical analyses, sucrose, hydroxymethylfurfural


The qualities of seventeen honey samples harvested from the North-East areas of Algeria were evaluated by determining the pollen spectrum, pollen number quantity and physicochemical attributes. Pollen analysis can therefore be useful to determine the geographical and botanical origin of honeys. The following determinations were carried out: pH, density, acidity (free, lactone and total), moisture, electrical conductivity,  hydroxymethylfurfural, diastase activity, apparent sucrose, and proteins.
The results obtained in the present study show the variability of chemical composition of the honey samples. It proved that nine natural honeys are of blossoming origin; suitable for consumption and that one (T5 conferred Bougous) can be used with fine dietetics, it is very rich in pollen which is regarded as protein source. The remainder, eight honeys, were not in conformity with the International Regulatory Standards, their sugar contents (Sucrose) and hydroxymethylfurfural exceeded the International
Regulatory Standards Review by the International Honey Commission, this was probably due to use of syrup for the over-feeding the bees during the spring. The sample Bouhachana (G1) had high water content (more than 20%), low density and electrical conductivity higher than 5 μS/cm, which makes it likely to undergo fermentation and degradation. Honeys of Guerguour (T1), Boutheldja (T2) and Bouhadjar (T3) had pH lower than the European standards concerning the quality control of the foodstuffs (exp. honey). These samples are fragile; so we cannot preserve them for a long period. The palynological analysis (qualitative and quantitative) of the harvested samples in the area, showed the absence of a honey obtained from only one melliferous plant. All honeys are polyfloral exits of the
several plant species visited by the worker bees during their blossoming periods. Three families are the most represented in the groups of pollen of accompaniment (the secondary pollen ranged between 16-45%) and the pollen considered as rare (minor pollen 3-15%) in the counted total number of the pollen grains in 10 grams of honey. These forager honey families are: Myrtaceae presented by the Eucalyptus, Papilionaceae presented by Hedysarum coronarium which is a forager plant characterized by a very vast surface of development, and Rosaceae represented by
orchard and forest species.The pollen grain number counted in honeys is very significant (between 80 000 and 24 832 000pollen grain), what makes it possible to classify the samples analyzed among the categories rich in pollen.

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eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358