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Food chemistry

Sugar composition of French royal jelly for comparison with commercial and artificial sugar samples.


PMID 23107723

Abstract

A gas chromatographic method was developed to quantify the major and minor sugars of 400 Royal Jellies (RJs). Their contents were compared in relation to the geographical origins and different production methods. A reliable database was established from the analysis of 290 RJs harvested in different French areas that took into account the diversity of geographical origin, harvesting season, forage sources available in the environment corresponding to natural food of the bees: pollen and nectar. Around 30 RJ samples produced by Italian beekeepers, about sixty-ones from French market, and around thirty-ones derived from feeding experiments were analysed and compared with our database. Fructose and glucose contents are in the range 2.3-7.8% and 3.4-7.7%, respectively, whatever the RJ's origin. On the contrary, differences in minor sugar composition are observed. Indeed sucrose and erlose contents in French RJs are lesser than 1.7% and 0.3%, respectively, whereas they reach 3.9% and 2.0% in some commercial samples and 5.1% and 1.7% in RJs produced from feeding experiments. This study could be used to discriminate different production methods and provide an additional tool for identifying unknown commercial RJs.

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