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Analysis thread

intertek

The Melliris transparency policy offers our clients the opportunity to find out everything and anything about our honey. In this spirit we have created our “Track your jar” section where you can write the batch number on your Melliris jar and see exactly where it comes from. As an extra feature everyone who uses the “Track your jar” module has access to the full honey analyses of the batch that has been tracked.

All of our analyses are taken at Intertek Food Services GMBH in Bremen, Germany. It is the industry world leader in testing, inspecting and certificating products. They make sure that Melliris products meet the quality, health, environmental, safety, and social accountability standards for virtually any market around the world.
When analyzing honey, there are several goals to be achieved: to find the botanical origin, to confirm safety for human consumption, to confirm it respects commerce and EU quality regulations. Moreover, Melliris has its own internal quality standards, which apply after all the conditions above have been met.

In each and every Melliris report, you will find 6 different sets of analysis: Tetracyclines, Streptomycin, Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim, Commercial Analysis, Pollen Analysis, Beta-Lactam Antibiotics.

Here are their definitions, parameters and values:

Tetracyclines

Definition: Broad-spectrum family of antibiotics, indicated for use against many bacterial infections. It is a protein synthesis inhibitor. It is commonly used to treat acne today, and, more recently, rosacea, and is historically important in reducing the number of deaths from cholera. In beekeeping, it is known to have been scarcely used to treat some hive infections despite the fact that its use is forbidden.

Parameters: the presence of the following substances of this family is quantified – Oxytetracycline, Tetracycline, Chlortetracycline, Doxycycline, and Demeclocycline.
Values: The accepted value is “not detected”.

Streptomycin

Definition: Family of antibiotics that acts by interfering with the ability of a microorganism to synthesize certain vital proteins. It was the first antimicrobial agent developed after penicillin and the first antibiotic effective in treating tuberculosis. In beekeeping, it is known to have been scarcely used to treat some hive infections despite the fact that its use is forbidden.

Parameters: the presence of the following substances of this family is quantified- Streptomycin, Dihydrostreptomycin.
Values: The accepted value is “not detected”.

Sulfonamides and Trimethoprim

Definition: Sulfonamide drugs were the first antimicrobial drugs, and paved the way for the antibiotic revolution in medicine. Their effects are antibacterial, diuretic, anticonvulsant, dermatological and others. Trimethoprim is s a bacteriostatic antibiotic mainly used in the prophylaxis and treatment of urinary tract infections. In beekeeping, it is known to have been scarcely used to treat some hive infections despite the fact that its use is forbidden.

Parameters: the presence of the following substances of this family is quantified- Sulfaguanidine, Sulfanilamide, Sulfacetamide, Succinylsulfathiazole, Sulfaphenazole, Sulfisomidine, Sulfadiazine, Sulfathiazole, Sulfapyridine, Sulfamerazine, Sulfamethazine, Sulfameter, Sulfamethoxypyridazine, Sulfachloropyridazine, Sulfamonomethoxine, Sulfisoxazole, Sulfamethoxazole, Sulfadoxine, Sulfaquinoxaline, Sulfadimethoxine, Sulfabenzamide, Sulfamoxole, Sulfaclozine, Sulfamethizole, Sulfisozole, Trimethoprim.
Values: The accepted value is “not detected”.

Commercial Analysis

HMF

Definition: Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is an organic compound derived from dehydration of certain sugars. HMF is practically not present in fresh food, but it is naturally generated in sugar-containing food during heat-treatments like drying or cooking. HMF can be found naturally in low amounts in honey, fruit-juices and UHT-milk. Here, as well as in vinegars, jams, alcoholic products or biscuits, HMF can be used as an indicator for excess heat-treatment.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified- Hydroxymethylfurfural.
Values: The accepted range is EU- maximum 40 mg/kg; Melliris- maximum 25 mg/kg

Moisture Content

Definition: Water content or moisture content is the quantity of water contained in a material, such as soil, rock, ceramics, honey, fruit, or wood. Honey with excessive water content is not suitable for long-term preservation and may be subject of fermentation.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified- Water
Values: The accepted range maximum 20 %

PH

Definition: In chemistry, pH is a measure of the activity of the (solvated) hydrogen ion. Pure water has a pH very close to 7 at 25°C. Solutions with a pH less than 7 are said to be acidic and solutions with a pH greater than 7 are basic or alkaline. Honey contains many kinds of acids, both organic and amino. However, the different types and their amounts vary considerably, depending on the type of honey.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified- Solvated Hydrogen Ion
Values: The accepted range is between 3.4 and 6.1

Diastase

Definition: A diastase is any one of a group of enzymes which catalyzes the breakdown of starch into maltose. In simple words, they help the transformation of carbohydrates into sugar, for easier digestion. As heat destroys enzymes, diastase activity is a honey quality parameter used to determine if honey has been extensively heated during processing.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified-α-, β-, or γ-amylase.
Values: The accepted range is minimum 8.

Free acid

Definition: Honey contains many kinds of acids, both organic and amino. These acids may be aromatic or aliphatic (non-aromatic). The aliphatic acids contribute greatly to the flavor of honey by interacting with the flavors of other ingredients. The aromatic acids, such as malic acid, come mostly from the flowers, adding to the aroma and taste of the honey. Honey can contain up to 18 of the 20 amino acids. However, amino acid content is almost negligible in honey, accounting for only 0.05–0.1% of the composition. Organic acids comprise most of the acids in honey, accounting for 0.17–1.17% of the mixture.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified- organic and amino acids.
Values: The accepted value is maximum 50 mmol/kg.

Pollen- botanical analysis

Yeast Content

Definition: Yeasts are eukaryotic microorganisms. By fermentation, the yeasts convert carbohydrates to carbon dioxide and alcohols. Many types of yeasts are used for making many foods: baker’s yeast in bread production; brewer’s yeast in beer fermentation; yeast in wine fermentation. Unpasteurized honey naturally contains small amounts of wild yeasts.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified- yeasts
Values: The accepted value is < 100.000/10g.

Starch content

Definition: Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store. It is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in large amounts in such staple foods as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava.

Parameters: the presence of the following substance is quantified- starch
Values: The accepted value is < 5%.

Electric Conductivity

Definition: Electrical conductivity measures a material’s ability to conduct an electric current. Since honey contains electrolytes, in the form of acids and minerals, it exhibits varying degrees of electrical conductivity. Measurements of the electrical conductivity are used to determine the quality of honey in terms of ash content.

Parameters: the presence of the following is quantified- electric conductivity
Values: The accepted value is maximum 0.8 mS/cm.

Pollen

Definition: Pollen analysis (melissopalynology) with light microscopy was the first method to determine botanical origin, of most interest especially for monofloral honeys. But recent practical experience has shown that present melissopalynological quality criteria are not valid for all honey. Thus, presently, pollen analysis is used in combination with the sensory and chemical analysis of the monofloral honeys.

Parameters: the presence of the following is quantified- main pollen, accompanying pollen, significant isolated pollen.
Values: The accepted values are different for each type of honey. They range from 10 (citrus, linden) to 90 % (eucalyptus). Most of them are at a medium 45 % (sunflower, acacia, etc).

http://www.culturaapicola.com.ar/apuntes/miel/miel_autenticidad_review_alteraciones.pdf
http://notulaebotanicae.ro/nbha/article/viewFile/4780/4516

Beta-lactam antibiotics

Definition: Beta-lactam antibiotics are a broad class of antibiotics, consisting of all antibiotic agents that contains a β-lactam nucleus in their molecular structures. This includes penicillin derivatives, cephalosporins, monobactams, and carbapenems. Most beta-lactam antibiotics work by inhibiting cell wall biosynthesis in the bacterial organism and are the most widely used group of antibiotics. In beekeeping, it is known to have been scarcely used to treat some hive infections despite the fact that its use is forbidden.

Parameters: the presence of the following substances is quantified: Amoxicilline, Ampicilline, Penicilline V, Piperacilline, Penicilline G, Cloxacilline, Oxacilline, Dicloxacilline, Nafcilline, Cefalexine, Cefalonium, Cafazolin, Cefoperazon, Ceftiofur, Cefapirin, Cefquinome.
Values: The accepted value is “not detected”.

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