Seventeen phenolic compounds related to the botanical origins of 13 Anzer pollens from Turkey have been analyzed by RP-HPLC. LOD values of standards were found to be between 0.0192 and 0.1313 mg/L with good linearity (r > 0.9977). The mean content of identified total phenolics ranges from 0.5 mg/100 g pollen to 2.6 mg/100 g pollen. While a common profile of phenolic compounds comprising p-OH benzoic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, syringic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, rutin, trans-cinnamic acid, and cis,trans-abscisic acid was detected in all Anzer pollen, catechin was not determined in any of the pollen samples. Furthermore, antioxidant properties of pollens were determined using total phenolic content, FRAP, CUPRAC and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) radical-scavenging activity tests. The antioxidant activities showed a marked correlation with total phenolics.

Practical Applications

Bee-collected pollen is one of the richest and the purest natural food supplements packed by honeybees into granules and subsequently harvested from hives by humans. Bee pollen is composed of nutritionally essential substances such as carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, lipids, vitamins, mineral substances and trace elements. It also contains considerable amounts of polyphenolic substances, mainly flavonoids, which are regarded as potent antioxidants. Flavonoids can be used to evaluate botanical origin and to set up quality standards for the assessment of nutritional and physiological properties of bee pollen. This paper provides an applicable RP-HPLC method for the determination of 17 phenolic compounds in Anzer pollens and for the investigation of their total phenolic contents and antioxidant capacities.