HONEY QUALITY, METHODS OF ANALYSIS AND INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY STANDARDS: REVIEW OF THE WORK OF THE INTERNATIONAL HONEYCOMMISSION

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Honey quality criteria are specified in a European Directive (1) and in the Codex Alimentarius standard (2), both presently under revision (3,4). As many of the analysis methods and regulations are outdated, an International Honey Commission (IHC) was formed in 1990 to revise the methods and standards for honey. The authors of this review, as members of the IHC, have all contributed with data, which made possible the present review. The commission compiled the methods of analysis currently used in routine honey control and carried out ring trials in collaboration with the honey commission of the Swiss Food Manual (SFM). The methods were first published in the SFM(5) and then in a slightly modified form elsewhere (6). In this paper we review the present knowledge on the different quality criteria and on the methods used for their determination. The review is intended to inform food chemists and authorities on the work done by the IHC. It should also help the regulatory authorities in the decision-making process when revising the present honey norm.

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