Major macronutrient concentrations (K, Ca, Mg, Na, P, and S) and element ratios were determined in 140 Hungarian mono-floral honey samples (acacia, linden, sunflower, rape, chestnut, forest, silk grass, and facelia) by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). One-way ANOVA (LSD and Dunnett T3 test) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) were used to determine the botanical origin based on the element content and element ratio of different honey types. Analysing six element concentrations in the honeys of different botanical origin with LDA allowed the botanical origin of 96% of honeys to be predicted. Reducing the examined elements to K, Mg, and Na increased the accuracy of predictions, but it was still not possible to distinguish acacia and facelia honeys. However, examination of element ratios showed that K/Na and K/Mg ratios were able to separate every honey type from each other with 100% cross-validation. It is concluded that using macro-element ratios rather than macro-element concentrations, it is possible to precisely discriminate the floral origin of honey samples.
Honey Element Element ratio ICP Botanical origin
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