Assessment of Quality of Tanzanian Honey based on Physicochemical Properties

Masoud Hadi Muruke


Quality of Tanzanian honey based on physicochemical parameters namely water content, sugar content, pH, ash content, hydroxymethyl furfural (HMF) and honey colour was studied using 26 honey samples collected from ten popular honey producing regions. Analyses were carried out in triplicates using standard methods. Data was analysed using averages, correlation and ANOVA tests. Majority of the honeybees’ honey samples were light coloured while all stingless bees honey samples were dark coloured. Dark coloured honeys contained more minerals; mainly iron, copper and manganese which make them especially fit for medicinal purposes. pH values ranged from 2.61±0.12 to 4.37±0.08, stingless bees honey samples were more acidic than honeybees’ honey samples.  Total sugar content values (64.16-84.84 g/100g) were all above the minimum requirement of the national and international standards of not less than 60g/100g. HMF values ranged from 5.0 – 26.4 mg/kg honey, an indication of good quality, being far below the maximum limit allowed by national and international standards of 40mg/kg or 80mg/kg for honeys from the tropics. Of the 26 honey samples studied, all 5 honey samples from stingless bees and 3 from honeybees had moisture content levels above 21%, the maximum limit allowed by national and international standards.. With the exception of two samples from stingless bees, all honeybees honey samples met the minimum requirements of national and international quality standards of maximum allowable ash content of 0.6 %. ANOVA results showed significant differences in the studied physicochemical parameters between groups of honey samples, namely processed honey raw honey and stingless bees’ honey at P<0.05. Pearson correlation analysis showed strong correlation coefficients at P<0.05 between some parameters studied. In conclusion honey colour and moisture content are two important physicochemical parameters that may be used to assess quality of honey.

Keywords: Honey quality, Physicochemical parameters, Honey colour, HMF, sugar content,

Moisture content

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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