Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 328–335 | Cite as

Analysis of Multifloral Bee Pollen Pellets by Advanced Digital Imaging Applied to Functional Food Ingredients

  • Claudia Y. Salazar-González
  • Francisco J. Rodríguez-Pulido
  • Anass Terrab
  • Consuelo Díaz-Moreno
  • Carlos A. Fuenmayor
  • Francisco J. HerediaEmail author
Original Paper


Bee pollen is a hive product, resulting from floral pollen agglutination by worker bees and it is characterized by its excellent bioactive and nutritional composition. Currently, research is focused on bee pollen applications on food industry, because this product has been considered an excellent source of compounds for human nutrition. It is also important in some industries, where color and particle size are important characteristics for production. Due to the granular nature of bee pollen, conventional colorimetry does not allow describing color correctly; thus, digital image analysis is a better alternative. This technique could also allow classifying bee pollen according to its appearance beyond the color. Consequently, the aim of this work was to develop a novel methodology for image data processing to classify bee pollen as ingredient in food industry. Seven color groups in samples were established regarding harvest month and particle size. It was possible to calculate the percentage of each color group in all samples. This methodology also allowed selecting each fraction for different applications in food industry using colorimetry, granulometry and the relationship between both of them.


Bee pollen Tristimulus colorimetry Image analysis Particle size 



We want to thank “Convocatoria Nacional de Proyectos para el Fortalecimiento de la Investigación, Creación e Innovación 2016-2018” from DIB of Universidad Nacional de Colombia. To Asociación Universitaria Iberoamericana de Posgrado -AUIP- and its program “Becas de Movilidad entre Universidades Andaluzas e Iberoamericanas Convocatoria 2017”. We want to thank Apiario Los Cerezos in Boyacá, Colombia for the material for this research. Finally, we are indebted to the staff of Biology Service (SGI, Universidad de Sevilla) for the technical assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Authors declare not having any conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Studies

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


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Food Science and TechnologyUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaBogotá D.C.Colombia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaBogotáColombia
  3. 3.Food Color and Quality Laboratory, Facultad de FarmaciaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Biología Vegetal y EcologíaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain

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