Abstract: In this work we compared 2 official methods for the determination of HMF in honey, the spectrophotometric White method and the HPLC method (International Honey Commission) for the determination of HMF in unifloral honey and honeydew samples with a very low HMF content (<4 mg/kg), which is the most critical determination in terms of accuracy and precision of methods. In honey solutions, the limits of quantification for HPLC and White methods are 0.83 mg/L and 0.67 mg/L, respectively, and the linearity range is confirmed up to 20 mg/L for the HPLC method and up to 5 mg/L for the White method. In honeys with HMF >5 mg/kg, the molar extinction coefficient is 15369, lower than the literature value of 16830, and should be used for HMF determination. For samples with HMF content in the range 1–4 mg/kg the accuracy of the 2 methods is comparable both for unifloral and honeydew samples, whereas as regards precision, the HPLC method gives better results (3.5% compared with 6.4% for the White method). So, in general, the HPLC method seems to be more appropriate for the determination of HMF in honey in the range 1–4 mg/kg thanks to its greater precision, but for samples with a HMF content of less than 1 mg/kg the analyses are inaccurate for both methods.
Practical Application: This work can help governmental and private laboratories that perform food analyses to choose the best method for the determination of HMF at very low levels in unifloral honey and honeydew samples.