Physicochemical analysis of Tigray honey: An attempt to determine major quality markers of honey
The objective of this study was to assess quality of Tigray honey and content of selected metals (Cu, Co, Cr, Ni, Fe, Zn, Cd, Mn). Thirty honey samples from various areas of Tigray Region, Ethiopia were collected and analyzed for major quality parameters (pH, electrical conductivity, moisture content, ash content and levels of selected metals). Moisture content had a value of 18.6 (minimum) and 18.8 (maximum) indicating optimum harvesting and good degree of maturity. All honeys analyzed in this work had ash contents less than 0.6%, indicating that they were more likely to be floral than honeydew origin. Electrical conductivity varies from 8.27 ± 0.02 mS/cm (Hawzene) to 33.5 ± 0.2 mS/cm (Abiy Adi). Values recorded for honey pH ranged from 3.82 ± 0.01 (Hawzen) and 4.45 ± 0.01 (Abiy Adi). In general the Tigray honey shows relatively acidic behavior which is similar to other honeys in the world. The concentration of trace metals in honey was more or less different depending on the sampling area. The highest concentration was observed for iron, copper, nickel, manganese, zinc, chromium, cobalt and cadmium in that order. The highest concentration of metals was observed in Adigrat honey and then Hagereselam, Abiy Adi, Hawezene and the least for Atsbi.
KEY WORDS: Honey, Moisture content, Electrical conductivity, Tigray, Ash content, pH, Mineral content, Bioindicator
Bull. Chem. Soc. Ethiop. 2012, 26(1), 127-133.