Using flavonoids, phenolic compounds and headspace volatile profile for botanical authentication of lemon and orange honeys

Autores UPV
Revista Food Research International


This study evaluates the usefulness of flavonoids (naringenin, hesperetin, chrysin, galangin, kaempferol, luteolin, pinocembrin, and quercetin) and phenolic acids (caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid) together with 37 volatile compounds in the differentiation between lemon blossom honey (Citrus limon) and orange blossom honey (Citrus spp.). The total content of flavonoids and phenolic acids is twice as high in lemon honey (6.20 mg/100 g) as in orange honey (3.64 mg/100 g); naringenin and caffeic acid were the main compounds in all cases. Hesperetin, a floral marker of citrus honey, was not significantly different for the two types of honey. A multivariate PLS2 analysis showed that some volatile compounds such as, 4 lilac aldehydes and bencenacetaldehyde (all abundant in orange honey) were negatively correlated with 4 flavonoids: pinocembrin, chrysin, naringenin and quercetin, and caffeic phenolic acid (all abundant in lemon honey). Moreover, the last 5 compounds were positively correlated with: 6 alcohols, 2 ketones, acetaldehyde and furanmethanol. This is a first approach to employ all of these compounds together with appropriate statistical techniques to differentiate between two varieties of citrus honey, and therefore it could be an interesting tool for their authentication. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.