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).
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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.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.
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