Journal - Association of Official Analytical Chemists

Honey protein as internal standard for stable carbon isotope ratio detection of adulteration of honey.

PMID 2592312


Using the difference in stable carbon isotope ratio between a honey and its protein fraction permits objective evaluation of possible adulteration of honey with small amounts (7-20%) as well as larger amounts of corn or cane sugar. The present uncertainty in interpretation of results from pure honey with delta 13C values outside the generally accepted limits for pure honey of -27.5% to -23.5% is eliminated; likewise TLC testing to resolve questionable samples with delta 13C values between -23.5 and -21.5% is not needed. Fifty certified samples of pure honey were used to establish criteria for purity, and 38 other samples with delta 13C values in the "questionable" or "adulterated" range for the AOAC official method were tested. A difference of 1.0% or more between honey and protein fractions is proposed to indicate adulteration.

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