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Quality Control of Honey by Visible and Near Infrared Spectroscopy (Vis-NIRS) and Headspace-Ion Mobility Spectrometry (HS-IMS)
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1  Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Agrifood Campus of International Excellence (ceiA3), IVAGRO, University of Cadiz, 11510 Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain.


Honey is a natural sweetening produced by bees from flower nectar. Based on European Union Regulation honey is a pure product so the addiction of any other substance is prohibited. Honey quality and composition are determined based on its botanical and geographical origin. Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) are established around the world to ensure its quality. However, the high demand and price of honey in comparison to other sweeteners make honey one of the most likely food products to be targeted for adulteration. Among the most common adulterants are invert sugar, rice syrup, maltose syrup or corn syrup, because of its low price and the similarity of its composition to honey. This is an illegal activity and can also cause health problems in consumers since some of the ingredients used as adulterants may be allergens, becoming a potential risk for unaware consumers. Nowadays, most of the techniques used to detect honey fraud are expensive, time-consuming, destructive, and they require skilled operators. Hence, it is necessary to develop fast and reliable analytical methods to establish criteria to guarantee the authenticity of the honey. In the present work, visible and near infrared spectroscopy (Vis-NIRS) together with headspace-ion mobility spectrometry (HS-IMS) are proposed for the detection of honey fraud. These techniques present several advantages as they allow the development of green, low cost and fast methods and both are easy to use. The obtained results demonstrate the potential of both techniques in combination with suitable chemometric tools as a screening method for honey quality control, to guarantee the origin and authenticity.

Keywords: Honey; Adulterations; ion mobility spectrometry; visible and near infrared spectroscopy; chemometrics tools