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Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0716-9760

Abstract

MONTENEGRO, Gloria; DIAZ-FORESTIER, Javiera; FREDES, Carolina  and  RODRIGUEZ, Sharon. Phenolic profiles of nectar and honey of Quillaja saponaria Mol. (Quillajaceae) as potential chemical markers. Biol. Res. [online]. 2013, vol.46, n.2, pp.177-182. ISSN 0716-9760.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-97602013000200009.

Quillaja saponaria Mol. (Quillajaceae) is one of the most important melliferous species in Chile, mainly as a source of monofloral honey. Honey made by A. mellifera presents biological activity against pathogens and antioxidant capacity associated with the presence of phenolic compounds deriving from the nectar, as a result of bee honey foraging. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the phenolic compounds from the floral nectar of Q. saponaria and the honey made in apiaries in the central zone, and compare the composition of the chromatographic profiles of nectar and honey to known phenolic compounds. The results obtained by HPLC-DAD (high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection) showed a similar profile of phenolic compounds, in which gallic acid, myricetin, rutin, quercetin and naringenin were identified. The phenolic compounds detected could be used as a reference for future studies for determining potential chemical markers of this honey, complementing the present identification of honeys by determining their botanical origin. The identification of bioindicators of the floral origins for honey of this species could provide added value to honey commercialization by certifying the botanical origin of their chemical features and biological attributes.

Keywords : Apis mellifera; chromatographic profile; floral nectar; honey; phenolic compounds; Quillaja saponaria.

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