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Antioxidant properties and phenolic content of sulla (Hedysarum spp.) honeys from Southern Italy



The geographical origin greatly influences the qualitative and nutraceutical characteristics of honey. In this study, a total of twenty-four sulla honeys from eight different geographical areas of Southern Italy have been examined for total phenolic content (Folin–Ciocalteu method), antioxidant activity (FRAP and DPPH assays), colour intensity (ABS450), and identification and quantification of phenolic acids (RP-HPLC/UV-VIS method). The total phenolic content ranged from 47.9 (Potentino honeys) to 248.3 mg GAE per kg honey (Penisola Sorrentina honeys). The antioxidant activity ranged from 47.06% (Basso Pollino honeys) to 88.25% (Penisola Sorrentina honeys), and from 98.26 μM Fe (II) (Potentino honeys) to 786.53 μm Fe (II) (Tarantino honeys) for DPPH and FRAP assays, respectively. Major phenolic acids identified in analysed samples were gallic, caffeic and ferulic acids. Correlations between the parameters analysed were statistically significant (< 0.05). The results of the study showed that the parameters studied are greatly affected by the peculiarities of their production area.