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Keywords:

  • floral origins;
  • geographical locations;
  • selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry

Abstract:  Ten Ohio and Indiana honey samples from star thistle (Centaurea Americana), blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), clover (Trifolium spp.), cranberry (Vaccinium spp.), wildflower, and an unknown source were collected. The headspace of these honeys was analyzed by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry and soft independent modeling of class analogy (SIMCA). SIMCA was utilized to statistically differentiate between honeys based on their composition. Ohio honeys from star thistle, blueberry, and clover were similar to each other in volatile composition, while Ohio wildflower honey was different. Indiana honeys from star thistle, blueberry, and wildflower were different from each other in volatile composition, while clover and cranberry honeys were similar. Honeys from Ohio and Indiana with the same floral origins were different in volatile composition. Furfural, 1-octen-3-ol, butanoic, and pentanoic acids were the volatiles with the highest discriminating power between types of floral honey. Methanol and ethanol followed by acetic acid were at the highest levels in most honeys, though furfural was at the highest concentration in Indiana blueberry honey, while 1-octen-3-ol was at the highest concentration in Indiana wildflower honey. The highest concentration of volatile compounds was in Indiana wildflower honey followed by Ohio wildflower honey, while the lowest concentration of volatile compounds was observed in Ohio clover honey followed by Indiana clover honey.

Practical Application:  Using chemometrics, concentrations of volatile compounds in different honeys can be used to determine the influence of botanical and geographical origins on aroma, which is important for the quality of honey. Characterization of volatile compounds can also be a useful tool for assessing honey quality.