Physicochemical characterization of georeferenced propolis from 14 locations of Uruguay




propolis, color, ash, total polyphenols


Honey bee propolis is studied around the world. Its plant origin, associated with different soils and climates, determines different physicochemical properties. These different properties determine diverse medicinal potentials. Uruguay has few scientific papers that characterize the propolis it produces. This study analyzes propolis from 14 locations of Uruguay, obtained over a year. The vegetation environment of these localities was characterized in a radius of 2 km by satellite images. Color (CIELAB) was measured in ethanolic solution, as well as pH and conductivity in aqueous solution, ashes, total polyphenols (Folin-Ciocalteau) and total flavonoids. The similarities of the localities in terms of their vegetation do not correspond to the similarities between propolis; another method of plant characterization must be used. Differences were found between locations, but not between stations within the same location. The parameters L* and a* are correlated with the polyphenolic content of propolis (R2=0.61 and R2=0.81, respectively). Conductivity is correlated (R2=0.66) with ash content, but it would be necessary to determine what minerals are present to use this tool. The polyphenolic and flavonoid content allows regionalizing the country in southwest and northeast. Southwest with high contents (177 to 262 gGAE/kg and 66 to 131 gQE/kg) and northeast zones with lower contents (27 to 88 gGAE/kg and 10 to 27 gQE/kg). It is necessary to continue studying propolis from Uruguay, its mineral and polyphenol content and its profile in other locations for a longer time.


Download data is not yet available.


Agüero MB, Svetaz L, Sánchez M, Luna L, Lima B, López ML, Zacchino S, Palermo J, Wunderlin D, Feresin GE, Tapia A. Argentinean Andean propolis associated with the medicinal plant Larrea nitida Cav. (Zygophyllaceae). HPLC–MS and GC–MS characterization and antifungal activity. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011;49(9):1970-8.

Ahn MR, Kumazawa S, Usui Y, Nakamura J, Matsuka M, Zhu F, Nakayama T. Antioxidant activity and constituents of propolis collected in various areas of China. Food Chem. 2007;101(4):1383-92.

Alencar SMD, Oldoni TLC, Castro ML, Cabral ISR, Costa-Neto CM, Cury JA, Rosalen PL, Ikegaki M. Chemical composition and biological activity of a new type of Brazilian propolis: red propolis. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007;113(2):278-83.

Ali AM, Kunugi H. Propolis, Bee Honey, and Their Components Protect against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): A Review of In Silico, In Vitro, and Clinical Studies. Molecules. 2021;26(5):1232. Doi: 10.3390/molecules26051232.

Altamirano A. Carta de reconocimientos de suelos del Uruguay: 1:1.000.000 [Internet]. Montevideo: MAP; 1976 [cited 2023 Jun 29]. Available from:

Anjum SI, Ullah A, Khan KA, Attaullah M, Khan H, Ali H, Bashir MA, Tahir M, Ansari MJ, Ghramh HA, NuruAdgaba N, Dash CK. Composition and functional properties of propolis (bee glue): a review. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2019;26(7):1695-703.

Bankova VS, de Castro SL, Marcucci MC. Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin. Apidologie. 2000;31(1):3-15.

Bertoncelj J, Doberšek U, Jamnik M, Golob T. Evaluation of the phenolic content, antioxidant activity and colour of Slovenian honey. Food Chem. 2007;105:822-8.

Catchpole O, Mitchell K, Bloor S, Davis P, Suddes A. Anti-gastrointestinal cancer activity of cyclodextrin-encapsulated propolis. J Funct Foods. 2018;41:1-8.

Cracco P, Cabrera C, Cadenazzi M, Galietta Positano G, Moreni A, Santos E, Zaccari F. Uruguayan honey from different regions, characterization and origin markers. Agrociencia Uruguay. 2022;26(1):e947. Doi: 10.31285/AGRO.26.947.

Cracco P, Morales Morgan N, Galietta G. Caracterización fisicoquímica de propóleos del Uruguay. In: XIII Congreso latinoamericano de apicultura 2018: libro de resúmenes. Montevideo: FILAPI; 2018. p. 296.

Cuesta-Rubio O, Piccinelli AL, Campo Fernandez M, Marquez Hernandez I, Rosado A, Rastrelli L. Chemical characterization of Cuban propolis by HPLC− PDA, HPLC− MS, and NMR: the brown, red, and yellow Cuban varieties of propolis. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55(18):7502-9.

Cunha IBS, Sawaya ACHF, Caetano FM, Shimizu MT, Marcucci MC, Drezza FT, Povia GS, Carvalho PO. Factors that influence the yield and composition of Brazilian propolis extracts. J Braz Chem Soc. 2004;15:964-70.

Dias LG, Pereira AP, Estevinho LM. Comparative study of different Portuguese samples of propolis: pollinic, sensorial, physicochemical, microbiological characterization and antibacterial activity. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012;50(12):4246-53.

Eskandarinia A, Kefayat A, Gharakhloo M, Agheb M, Khodabakhshi D, Khorshidi M, Sheikhmoradi V, Rafienia M, Salehi H. A propolis enriched polyurethane-hyaluronic acid nanofibrous wound dressing with remarkable antibacterial and wound healing activities. Int J Biol Macromol. 2020;149:467-76.

Falcão SI, Freire C, Vilas Boas M. A proposal for physicochemical standards and antioxidant activity of Portuguese propolis. J Am Oil Chem Soc. 2013;90(11):1729-41.

González-Miret ML, Terrab A, Hernanz D, Fernández-Recamales MA, Heredia FJ. Multivariate correlation between color and mineral composition of honeys and by their botanical origin. J Agric Food Chem. 2005;53:2574-80.

Google. Google Earth [Internet]. [place unknown]: Google LLC; [cited 29 Jun 2023]. Available from:

Grela I. Geografía florística de las especies arbóreas del Uruguay: propuesta para la delimitación de dendrofloras [master’s thesis]. Montevideo (UY): Universidad de la República, Facultad de Agronomía; 2004. 97p.

Guler HI, Tatar G, Yildiz O, Belduz AO, Kolayli S. Investigation of potential inhibitor properties of ethanolic propolis extracts against ACE-II receptors for COVID-19 treatment by molecular docking study. Arch Microbiol. 2021;203(6):3557-64.

Hamasaka T, Kumazawa S, Fujimoto T, Nakayama T. Antioxidant activity and constituents of propolis collected in various areas of Japan. Food Sci Technol Res. 2004;10(1):86-92.

Kasote DM, Pawar MV, Bhatia RS, Nandre VS, Gundu SS, Jagtap SD, Kulkarni MV. HPLC, NMR based chemical profiling and biological characterisation of Indian propolis. Fitoterapia. 2017;122:52-60.

Kubiliene L, Laugaliene V, Pavilonis A, Maruska A, Majiene D, Barcauskaite K, Kubilius R, Kasparaviciene G, Savickas A. Alternative preparation of propolis extracts: comparison of their composition and biological activities. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015;15:156. Doi: 10.1186/s12906-015-0677-5.

Kumazawa S, Hayashi K, Kajiya K, Ishii T, HamasakaT, Nakayama T. Studies of the constituents of Uruguayan propolis. J Agric Food Chem. 2002;50(17):4777-82.

Kurek-Górecka A, Keskin Ş, Bobis O, Felitti R, Górecki M, Otręba M, Stojko J, Olczyk P, Kolayli S, Rzepecka-Stojko A. Comparison of the Antioxidant Activity of Propolis Samples from Different Geographical Regions. Plants (Basel). 2022;11(9):1203. Doi: 10.3390/plants11091203.

Kuropatnicki AK, Szliszka E, Krol W. Historical aspects of propolis research in modern times. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:964149. Doi: 10.1155/2013/964149.

Liu Y, Liang X, Zhang G, Kong L, Peng W, Zhang H. Galangin and Pinocembrin from Propolis Ameliorate Insulin Resistance in HepG2 Cells via Regulating Akt/mTOR Signaling. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:7971842. Doi: 10.1155/2018/7971842.

Moreno MA, Vallejo AM, Ballester AR, Zampini C, Isla MI, López-Rubio A, Fabra MJ. Antifungal edible coatings containing Argentinian propolis extract and their application in raspberries. Food Hydrocoll. 2020;107:105973.

Mouhoubi-Tafinine Z, Ouchemoukh S, Tamendjari A. Antioxydant activity of some algerian honey and propolis. Ind Crops Prod. 2016;88:85-90.

Olegário LS, Andrade JKS, Andrade GRS, Denadai M, Cavalcanti RL, da Silva MAAP, Narain N. Chemical characterization of four Brazilian brown propolis: an insight in tracking of its geographical location of production and quality control. Food Res Int. 2019;123:481-502.

Paulino M, Alvareda E, Iribarne F, Miranda P, Espinosa V, Aguilera S, Pardo H. Toward the understanding of the molecular basis for the inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 by phenolic compounds present in Uruguayan propolis and grape pomace. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2016;34(12):2643-57.

Paulino Zunini M, Rojas C, De Paula S, Elingold I, Alvareda Migliaro E, Casanova MB, Iribarne Restucia F, Aguilera Morales S, Dubin M. Phenolic contents and antioxidant activity in central-southern Uruguayan propolis extracts. J Chil Chem Soc. 2010;55(1):141-6.

Peixoto M, Freitas AS, Cunha A, Oliveira R, Almeida-Aguiar C. Mixing Propolis from Different Apiaries and Harvesting Years: Towards Propolis Standardization? Antibiotics (Basel). 2022;11(9):1181. Doi: 10.3390/antibiotics11091181.

R Studio Team. R Studio: Integrated Development for R [Internet]. Boston: RStudio; 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 29]. Available from:

Romero M, Freire J, Pastene E, García A, Aranda M, González C. Propolis polyphenolic compounds affect the viability and structure of Helicobacter pylori in vitro. Rev Bras Farmacogn. 2019;29:325-32.

Rufatto LC, dos Santos DA, Marinho F, Henriques JAP, Ely MR, Moura S. Red propolis: chemical composition and pharmacological activity. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2017;7(7):591-8.

Santana HF, Barbosa AAT, Ferreira SO, Mantovani HC. Bactericidal activity of ethanolic extracts of propolis against Staphylococcus aureus isolated from mastitic cows. World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012;28(2):485-91.

Schmidt MR, Bothma G. Indications of bee pollination in sorghum and its implications in transgenic biosafety. International Sorghum and Millets Newsletter. 2005;(46):72-5.

Silva BB, Rosalen PL, Cury JA, Ikegaki M, Souza VC, Esteves A, Alencar SM. Chemical composition and botanical origin of red propolis, a new type of brazilian propolis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008;5(3):313-6. Doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem059.

Silva JC, Rodrigues S, Feás X, Estevinho LM. Antimicrobial activity, phenolic profile and role in the inflammation of propolis. Food Chem Toxicol. 2012;50(5):1790-5.

Silva V, Genta G, Möller MN, Masner M, Thomson L, Romero N, Radi R, Fernandes DC, Laurindo FRM, Heinzen H, Fierro W, Denicola A. Antioxidant activity of Uruguayan propolis: In vitro and cellularassays. J Agric Food Chem. 2011;59(12):6430-7.

Soekanto SA, Husniah NN, Purwanti L, Sulistyani N, Hermansyah H, Wijanarko A, Sahlan M. Tooth Coating Gel with Casein Phosphopeptide–Amorphous Calcium Phosphate and Propolis to Prevent Dental Caries. J Int Dent Medical Res. 2019;12(4):1298-304.

Sousa JP, Furtado NA, Jorge R, Soares AE, Bastos JK. Perfis físico-químico e cromatográfico de amostras de própolis produzidas nas microrregiões de Franca (SP) e Passos (MG), Brasil. Rev Bras Farmacogn. 2007;17:85-93.

Takeda K, Nagamatsu K, Okumura K. A water-soluble derivative of propolis augments the cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018;218:51-8.

Tao L, Chen X, Zheng Y, Wu Y, Jiang X, You M, Li S, Hu F. Chinese Propolis Suppressed Pancreatic Cancer Panc-1 Cells Proliferation and Migration via Hippo-YAP Pathway. Molecules. 2021;26(9):2803. Doi: 10.3390/molecules26092803.

Tran CTN, Brooks PR, Bryen TJ, Williams S, Berry J, Tavian F, McKee B, Tran TD. Quality assessment and chemical diversity of Australian propolis from Apis mellifera bees. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):13574. Doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-17955-w.



How to Cite

Cracco P, Cabrera MC, Gallieta G. Physicochemical characterization of georeferenced propolis from 14 locations of Uruguay. Agrocienc Urug [Internet]. 2023 Aug. 30 [cited 2024 Apr. 22];27:e1181. Available from:



Food technology
QR Code


Article metrics
Abstract views
Galley vies
PDF Views
HTML views
Other views

Most read articles by the same author(s)