Physicochemical properties and mineral and protein content of honey samples from Ceará State, Northeastern Brazil

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This study evaluated the physicochemical properties and protein and mineral content of honey samples from Ceará State, Northeastern Brazil, one of the major honey exporters in the country. Nutritional importance of the minerals detected was also analyzed. Physicochemical properties were examined according to the AOAC and CAC official methods; the protein content was determined using the Bradford method, and the minerals were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrometry. All analyses were performed in triplicate. The levels of macrominerals sodium (Na), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg) varied from 1.80-47.20, 21.30-1513.30, 14.58-304.82, and 2.48-28.33 mg/kg, respectively, and the trace elements iron (Fe), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), selenium (Se), and chromium (Cr) varied from 0.12-8.76, 0.07-1.29, 0.06-1.96, 0.07-1.85 mg/kg, 0.36 × 10–3-62.00 × 10–3 and 22.50 × 10–3-170.33 × 10–3 μg/kg, respectively. Myracrodruon urundeuvahoney sample had high contents of macrominerals (Na, K, Ca, and Mg). Protein content of the Anacardium occidentale honey sample was the highest (1121.00 μg/g) among the samples analyzed. Among the minerals detected in the honey samples, K showed the highest concentration, followed by Ca, Na, and Mg. The presence of trace elements can show environmental contamination. The honey samples studied were free of trace elements contamination, except for Mn; the Piptadenia moniliformis was the only honey sample that was in compliance with the law requirements. The variations of the chemical constituents in the honey samples are probably related to differences in the floral origin and mineral and protein contents and confirm the nutritional importance of Ceará State honey.Keywords: Apis mellifera honey; floral origin; nutritional importance.

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