Journal of Food Science and Technology

, Volume 54, Issue 9, pp 2769–2778 | Cite as

Enzyme activity, amino acid profiles and hydroxymethylfurfural content in Ethiopian monofloral honey

  • Abera Belay
  • Gulelat Desse Haki
  • Marc Birringer
  • Hannelore Borck
  • Young-Chul Lee
  • Kyung-Tack Kim
  • Kaleab Baye
  • Samuel MelakuEmail author
Original Article


The enzymes activity, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) and amino acids in honeys are relatively low. However, they play very significant role for honey quality. In this study, enzymes, amino acids and HMF contents of Ethiopian monofloral honeys were investigated. Diastase, invertase and HMF were analyzed based on the Harmonized International Honey Commission method and amino acids using amino acids analyzer (HPLC). Diastase activity ranged from 3.91 ± 0.730 (Schefflera abyssinica) to 13.6 ± 2.30 [Becium grandiflorum (L: Lalibella)]; invertase 36.5 ± 1.93 (Leucas abyssinica) to 4.85 ± 2.36 (Schefflera abyssinica); and HMF 0 ± 0 (Hypoestes and Leucas abyssinica) to 3.37 ± 1.73 (Croton macrostachyus). Significant variations were observed among Schefflera abyssinica honeys in diastase content, despite being from the same botanical origin. Significant variations were also observed among Becium grandiflorum honeys in invertase and diastase contents. Bees’ geographical race and location affected enzymes activities. Lower level of enzymes could be an intrinsic characteristic of Ethiopian honey. Thus, enzymes activity alone cannot be a worthwhile indicator of quality for Ethiopian honey; besides diastase and invertase activity, the quality control of Ethiopian honeys should be supported by HMF parameters.


Amino acid Enzyme Honey quality Hydroxymethylfurfural Monofloral Ethiopia 



We would like to thank SNV Ethiopia, GIZ-SLM, MELCA Ethiopia for their logistical support; Korean Food Research Institute (KFRI), Fulda University of Applied Sciences, Germany, for laboratory service; Phadebas for providing reagents for enzyme analysis; Dr. Jurgen Greiling, Prof. Mooha Lee for coordinating the field work and laboratories abroad; and Hirut Abebe and Abate Geremew for their assistance in the lab.


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abera Belay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gulelat Desse Haki
    • 3
  • Marc Birringer
    • 4
  • Hannelore Borck
    • 4
  • Young-Chul Lee
    • 5
  • Kyung-Tack Kim
    • 5
  • Kaleab Baye
    • 1
  • Samuel Melaku
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Food Science and NutritionAddis Ababa UniversityAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.Department of Food Science and Postharvest TechnologyArsi UniversityAsellaEthiopia
  3. 3.Department of Food Science and TechnologyCollege of AgricultureGaboroneBotswana
  4. 4.Fulda University of Applied SciencesFuldaGermany
  5. 5.Korea Food Research InstituteSeongnamKorea
  6. 6.Department of ChemistryColumbus State UniversityColumbusUSA

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