European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 9, pp 1939–1949 | Cite as

Nutritional aspects and botanical origin recognition of Mediterranean honeys based on the “mineral imprint’’ with the application of supervised and non-supervised statistical techniques

  • Ioannis K. KarabagiasEmail author
  • Artemis P. Louppis
  • Anastasia Badeka
  • Chara Papastephanou
  • Michael G. Kontominas
Original Paper


The nutritional aspects and the potential of aluminum (Al), calcium (Ca), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), manganese (Mn), antimony (Sb), silicon (Si) and zinc (Zn) for the botanical origin recognition of 270 citrus, fir, multifloral, pine and thyme honeys from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain, and Morocco were investigated. The aforementioned minerals were determined using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Quantitative data were subjected to supervised and non-supervised statistical techniques such as multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), linear discriminant analysis (LDA), k-nearest neighbors (k-NN) and multiple correspondence analysis (MCA), to estimate whether minerals could effectively assist in the botanical origin recognition of Mediterranean honeys. Results showed that Mediterranean honeys had nutritional properties on the basis of the daily mineral intake contribution that was estimated, whereas Mg, Cu, Mn, Al, Ca, and Si could imply potential markers of Mediterranean honeydew and nectar honey botanical origin. The work carried out may comprise the tool for the accurate labeling of honey from different countries protecting consumers from fraud and set the basis for a cooperative organization, in the near future, dealing with the market distribution of a nutritious and authentic Mediterranean honey (AMH).


Mediterranean honey AMH Minerals Varietal characterization Chemometrics 



The authors are grateful to ATTIKI Bee Culturing Co–Alex. Pittas S.A., 9 Protomagias Street, 14568, Kryoneri, Athens, Greece, Beekeepers’ Association of Arta, Epirus, along with the local beekeepers from Arkadia, Karditsa, Messinia, Lakonia, and Symi for the donation of honey samples.


This research was not funded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.

Supplementary material

217_2019_3306_MOESM1_ESM.docx (100 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 100 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ioannis K. Karabagias
    • 1
    Email author
  • Artemis P. Louppis
    • 2
  • Anastasia Badeka
    • 1
  • Chara Papastephanou
    • 2
  • Michael G. Kontominas
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Food Chemistry, Department of ChemistryUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  2. 2.cp Foodlab LtdStrovolosCyprus

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