Quantitative High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Analyses of Flavonoids in Australian Eucalyptus Honeys

  • Yao L
  • Jiang Y
  • D'Arcy B
 et al. 
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Flavonoids of nine Australian monofloral Eucalyptus honeys have been analyzed and related to their botanical origins. The mean content of total flavonoids varied from 1.90 mg/100 g of honey for stringybark (E. globoidia) honey to 8.15 mg/100 g of honey for narrow-leaved ironbark (E. crebra) honey, suggesting that species-specific differences occur quantitatively among these Eucalyptus honeys. All of the honey samples analyzed in this study have a common flavonoid profile comprising tricetin (5,7,3',4',5'-pentahydroxyflavone), quercetin (3,5,7,3',4'-pentahydroxyflavone), and luteolin (5,7,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavone), which, together with myricetin (3,5,7,3',4',5'-hexahydroxyflavone) and kaempferol (3,5,7,4'-tetrahydroxyflavone), were previously suggested as floral markers for European Eucalyptus honeys. Thus, flavonoid analysis could be used as an objective method for the authentication of the botanical origin of Eucalyptus honeys. Moreover, species-specific differences can also be found in the composition of honey flavonoid profiles. Among these honeys, bloodwood (E. intermedia) honey contains myricetin and tricetin as the main flavonoid compounds, whereas there is no myricetin detected in yapunyah (E. ochrophloia), narrow-leaved ironbark (E. crebra), and black box (E. largiflorens) honeys. Instead, these types of Eucalyptus honeys may contain tricetin, quercetin, and/or luteolin as their main flavonoid compounds. Compared to honeys from other geographical origins, the absence or minor presence of propolis-derived flavonoids such as pinobanksin, pinocembrin, and chrysin in Australian honeys is significant. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that a common flavonoid profile exists for all of the Eucalyptus honeys, regardless of their geographical origins; the individual species-specific floral types of Eucalyptus honey so common in Australia could be possibly differentiated by their flavonoid profile differences, either qualitatively or quantitatively or both.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Botanical origin
  • Eucalyptus
  • Flavonoids
  • Honey
  • Quality

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