Honey characterization from two landscapes of the northeast region of Uruguay

  • Pablo Cracco Universdad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía, Montevideo, Uruguay https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2934-6297
  • Arnaldo Moreni Universdad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía, Departamento de Producción Animal y Pasturas, Montevideo, Uruguay https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0916-5648
  • Cristina Cabrera Universdad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía, Departamento de Producción Animal y Pasturas, Montevideo, Uruguay https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7964-6669
  • Giovanni Galietta Universdad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía, Unidad de Tecnología de los Alimentos, Montevideo, Uruguay https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8813-5203
  • Estela Santos Universdad de la República, Facultad de Ciencias, Sección Entomología, Montevideo, Uruguay https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0648-3926
Keywords: Uruguay honey, honeydew, pollen determination, physicochemical characterization


The world honey market values ​​organic and natural honeys. Forest activity in the northeast of Uruguay, free of agricultural activities and with the presence of a protected area, is an opportunity for local beekeepers and transhumant people. The characterization of these honeys through melissopalynology and physical-chemical parameters could generate new valorization strategies. The objective of this study was to characterize honeys (n=27) from the protected area and from afforestation with Eucalyptus grandis under two production systems (transhumance and non-transhumance beekeepers). Botanical composition was analyzed by palynology, mineral profile, moisture, conductivity, pH, color (CIEL*a*b*), sugar profile and presence of glyphosate. The palynological analysis determined two types of honeys (monofloral from Eucalyptus sp. in the forestation and honeydew honeys with the presence of diverse pollens from native species in the protected area. No significant differences (p<0.05) were found between the honeys from eucalyptus for both beekeeping production systems in all the parameters evaluated. The honeydew honeys have an unknown origin and were statistically different from the previous ones. The average values ​​of pH and conductivity for these honeys were 6.37 ± 0.14 and 1113 ± 25.6 µS/cm respectively. The concentration of minerals K (2536.1 ± 382.1 mg/kg honey) and Fe (4.15 ± 0.27 mg/kg honey) was higher than those found in eucalyptus honey. The percentages of Isomaltulose (1.18 ± 0.62) and Trehalose (0.23 ± 0.05) sugars were higher in the honeys from the protected area while Maltose (0.46 ± 0.07) was lower. Glyphosate residues were not detected in all the samples analyzed. Should insist on good management practices carried out by beekeepers when they arrive from agricultural areas (transhumance beekeepers). Research should continue to determine the origin of the myelates in the protected area. Although the volumes produced are smaller, their valuation could increase due to the originality of these honeys. The northeast region of Uruguay has the potential to produce quality honey properly identified by geographic and botanical origin.


Download data is not yet available.


Bazurro D, Díaz R, Sánchez M. Tipificación de miel de palma butiá (Butia capitata) durante la floración de 1995-1996 en el Departamento de Rocha. Rocha: PROBIDES; 1996. 25p. (Documento de trabajo; 12).

Bergamo G, Seraglio SKT, Gonzaga LV, Fett R, Costa ACO. Physicochemical characteristics of bracatinga honeydew honey and blossom honey produced in the state of Santa Catarina: an approach to honey differentiation. Int Food Res J. 2019;116:745-54.

Bogdanov S, Haldimann M, Luginbühl W, Gallmann P. Minerals in honey: environmental, geographical and botanical aspects. J Apic Res. 2007;46:269-75.

Cabrera MC, Ramos A, Saadoun A, Brito G. Selenium, copper, zinc, iron and manganese content of seven meat cuts from Hereford and Braford steers fed pasture in Uruguay. Meat Sci. 2010;84:518-28.

Carrau A, Bianchi S, Pintos J. Sector apícola: situación y perspectivas [Internet]. In: Anuario OPYPA 2021. Montevideo: MGAP; 2020 [cited 2022 May 07]. 11p. Available from: https://bit.ly/3OXHi9U.

Codex Alimentarius. Revised codex standard for honey, standards and standard methods. Rome: FAO; 2001. 7p.

Corbella E, Cozzolino D. Classification of the floral origin of Uruguayan honeys by chemical and physical characteristics combined with chemometrics. LWT. 2006;39(5):534-9.

Corbella E, Tejera L, Cernuschi F. Calidad y origen botánico de mieles del noreste de Uruguay. Revista INIA. 2005;(3):6-7.

Cracco P. Componentes nutricionales y caracterización fisicoquímica de mieles de cuatro regiones del Uruguay [master’s thesis]. Montevideo (UY): Universidad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía; 2019. 69p.

Daners G, Tellería C. Native vs. introduced bee flora: a palynological survey of honeys from Uruguay. J Apic Res. 1998;37:221-9.

Di Rienzo JA, Casanoves F, Balzarini MG, González L, Tablada M, Robledo CW. InfoStat [Internet]. Version 2015. Córdoba: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias; 2015 [cited 2022 May 07]. Available from: https://bit.ly/3dDvIyu.

Elflein L, Raezke KP. Improved detection of honey adulteration by measuring differences between 13C/12C stable carbon isotope ratios of protein and sugar compounds with a combination of elemental analyzer - isotope ratio mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography - isotope ratio mass spectrometry (δ13C-EA/LC-IRMS). Apidologie. 2008;39:574-87.

Finola MS, Lasagno MC, Marioli JM. Microbiological and chemical characterization of honeys from central Argentina. Food Chem. 2007;100(4):1649-53

Gámbaro A, Ares G, Giménez A, Pahor S. Preference mapping of color of Uruguayan honeys. J Sens Stud. 2007;22(5):507-19.

Jaafar MHM, Hamid KA, Anuar N, Zohdi RM, Effendi TJB. Physicochemical properties and pharmacokinetic profiles of selected Malaysian honey [Internet]. In: 2012 IEEE Symposium on Business, Engineering and Industrial Applications. Danvers: IEEE; 2012 [cited 2022 May 07]. p. 140-5. doi:10.1109/ISBEIA.2012.6422856.

Lazarević K, Jovetić M, Tešić Ž. Physicochemical parameters as a tool for the assessment of origin of honey. J AOAC Int [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 May 07];100(4):840-51. doi:10.5740/jaoacint.17-0143.

Louveaux J, Maurizio A, Vorwohl G. Methods of melissopalynology. Bee World. 1978;59:139-57.

Method 998.12: C-4 plant sugars in honey, internal standard stable carbon isotope ratio method. In: Cunniff P, editor. AOAC official methods of analysis. 16th ed. Washington: AOAC Int.; 1999. p. 27-30.

Moreni A. Contenido de micronutrientes y capacidad antioxidante en mieles de cuatro regiones fitogeográficas del Uruguay [master’s thesis]. Montevideo (UY): Universidad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía; 2019. 59p.

Nogueira E, Juri P, Invernizzi C. Efecto del jarabe de azúcar en la sobrevivencia larval en colonias de abejas melíferas afectadas por Mal del Río. Veterinaria (Montev.) [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2022 May 07];57:215. doi:10.29155/vet.57.215.2.

Ouchemouck S, Louaileche H, Schweitzer P. Physicochemical characteristics and pollen spectrum of some Algerian honeys. Food Control. 2007;18:52-8

Paul BN, Chanda S, Das S, Singh P, Padey BK, Giri SS. Mineral assay in atomic absorption spectroscopy. The beats nat sci. 2014;4(1):1-17.

Persano Oddo L, Piazza MG, Sabatini AG, Accorti M. Characterization of unifloral honeys. Apidologie. 1995;26:453-65.

Pita-Calvo C, Vazquez M. Differences between honeydew and blossom honeys: a review. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2017;59:79-87.

R Studio Team. RStudio: Integrated Development for R [Internet]. Boston: RStudio; 2015 [cited 2022 May 07]. Available from: http://www.rstudio.com/.

Rodríguez Flores MS, Escuredo Pérez O, Seijo Coello MC. Characterization of Eucalyptus Globulus Honeys Produced in the Eurosiberian Area of the Iberian Peninsula. Int J Food Prop. 2014;17(10):2177-91.

Roshan ARA, Gad HA, El-Ahmady SH, Al-Azizi MM, Abou-Shoer MI, Khanbash MS. Characterization and discrimination of the floral origin of sidr honey by physicochemical data combined with multivariate analysis. Food Anal Methods. 2017;10(1):137-46.

Santos EI, Meerhoff E, Da Rosa EG, Ferreira J, Raucher M, Quintana W, Mancebo Y. Color and electrical conductivity of honey produced by Apis mellifera in Uruguay. Innotec [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2022 May 05];16:51-5. doi:10.26461/16.08.

Solayman M, Asiful I, Sudip P, Yousuf A, Ibrahim K, Nadia A, Siew HG. Physicochemical properties, minerals, trace elements, and heavy metals in honey of different origins: a comprehensive review. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 May 07];15(1):219-33. doi:10.1111/1541-4337.12182.

Sorkun K, Doğan C, Başoğlu N. Physicochemical characteristics and composition of Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehn honey produced in Turkey. Apiacta. 2001;36(4):182-9.

Taha MME, Abdelwahab SI, Elsanousi R, Babiker SE, Elraih H, Mohamed E, Sheikh BY, Abdulla MA. Effectiveness of Sidr Honey on the prevention of ethanol-induced gastroulcerogenesis: role of antioxidant and antiapoptotic mechanism. Pharmacogn J. 2015;7(3):157-64.

Tejera L, Invernizzi C, Daners G. Población y recursos alimenticios en colonias de Apis mellifera L. en Uruguay. Arch Zootec. 2013;62:607-10.

UNE. Calidad del agua: determinación de aniones disueltos por cromatografía de iones en fase líquida. Parte 1, Determinación de bromuro, cloruro, fluoruro, nitrato, nitrito, fosfato y sulfato (ISO 10304-1:2007). Madrid: AENOR; 2009. 23p. UNE-EN ISO 10304-1:2009.

Von Der Ohe W, Oddo, LP, Piana ML, Morlot M, Martin P. Harmonized methods of melissopalynology. Apidologie. 2004;35(1):18-25.

White JW. Honey. Adv Food Res. 1978;24:288-364.

How to Cite
Cracco P, Moreni A, Cabrera C, Galietta G, Santos E. Honey characterization from two landscapes of the northeast region of Uruguay. Agrociencia Uruguay [Internet]. 19May2022 [cited 9Aug.2022];26(1):e980. Available from: http://agrocienciauruguay.uy/ojs/index.php/agrociencia/article/view/980
Food Technology