2.12. Boreal unifloral honeys: Screening of composition and properties

 Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of biology

Doctoral candidate: M.Sc. Anneli Salonen 

Date and venue: 2.12.2011 at 12 noon, Auditorium Natura 100, Joensuu



In this thesis the aim was to investigate the physico-chemical, organoleptic and melissopalynological characterisations and properties of buckwheat, willow, heather, lingonberry, raspberry, fireweed, dandelion, mire and honeydew unifloral honeys collected in Finland and find tools for their process of discrimination. 

The main interest laid in those unifloral honeys on which almost no scientific data can be found and which are typical of the boreal coniferous zone in Scandinavia (lingonberry, raspberry, fireweed and mire honey). The composition of nectar and honey from fireweed were compared and the phenolic content of Finnish propolis was analysed, as well. 

Concerning the results on physico-chemical properties, the greatest variation was found in electrical conductivity. The carbohydrate content of the studied unifloral honeys was surprisingly similar, except for some variation in the di- and oligosaccharide contents. Melissopalynological analyses revealed some differences in pollen amounts compared to European unifloral honeys and some special features in the pollen content of fireweed honey, but they did not provide an answer to the question of the botanical origin of mire honey. 

The spectra of phenolic compounds are different in unifloral honey varieties, but a better discriminating tool is the ratio of phenolic acids to flavonoids. PCA of amino acids was also useable in distinguishing unifloral honey varieties. The analytical data obtained in this research may be useful in future studies concerning the characterisation and properties of Finnish unifloral honeys and propolis, their antimicrobial properties, their use as sources for biologically active compounds or their impact on human health. 

The doctoral dissertation of M.Sc. Anneli Salonen entitled Boreal unifloral honeys: Screening of composition and properties will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The opponent in the public examination is Professor Anja Hohtola from the University of Oulu and the custos is Professor Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto of the University of Eastern Finland.

Photo available for download at http://www.uef.fi/vaitoskuvat

Contact: Anneli Salonen, tel. +358 40 419 2463, anneli.salonen@uef.fi

Publishing year: 2011

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