Nutrition marketing of honey: chemical, microbiological, antioxidant and antimicrobial profile
Keywords:nutrition marketing, honey, microorganisms, polyphenolic content, mineral profile
Honey and all bee products have very good biological and chemical properties. They have been used in medicine for a long time. In our study we evaluated twenty polyfloral honey samples, the first ten were commercial honeys from a selected supermarkets with country of origin indicated "blend of EU and non-EU honeys" and represented imported honey. The second ten honeys were from a local beekeepers (Nitra region) and represented the Slovak origin. The aim of the study were to analyze chemical, microbiological, antioxidant, antimicrobial profile of honey and recommend marketing strategies for honey producers by applying nutrition marketing. From chemical point of view, the study examined mineral profile of honeys, antioxidant properties as antioxidant activity, total polyphenols, flavonoid and phenolic acid content and from microbiological view the study evaluated a total count bacteria, coliform bacteria and microscopic filamentous fungi. Results of minerals showed that the most dominant element in commercial honeys is sodium (30 mg.100g-1) followed by calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Iron, arsenic and selenium are present only in trace amounts. In local honeys the most dominant element is potassium (84.181 mg.100g-1) followed by calcium, phosphorus, sulfur and magnesium. The presence of hazardous heavy metals (cadmium, lead and chrome) was not detected in either of the samples. Moreover, antioxidant activity determined by the DPPH method was slightly higher in local polyfloral honeys and vice versa the content of total polyphenol, flavonoid and the phenolic acid content was slightly higher in commercial polyfloral honeys. From the microbiological point of view, the total count of bacteria was found only in commercial polyfloral honeys while local honeys were without detectable microorganisms. The best antimicrobial activity was found against gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli in both concentrations of honeys, and the local honeys reached better antimicrobial activity. All in all, honey has very good biological properties and mineral composition which opens opportunities for beekeepers to apply nutrition marketing and target new segments of consumers, e.g. sportsmen, people in convalescence, consumers following healthier lifestyle or seeking functional food. Moreover, educating consumers from a nutritional point of view will foster daily intake of honey and will increase annual consumption of honey in the future.
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