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Evaluation of honey authenticity in Lebanon by analysis of carbon stable isotope ratio using elemental analyzer and liquid chromatography coupled to isotope ratio mass spectrometry
Journal of Mass Spectrometry  (IF1.982),  Pub Date : 2021-04-15, DOI: 10.1002/jms.4730
Khaled El Hawari, Mohamad Al Iskandarani, Farouk Jaber, Raed Ezzeddine, Luca Ziller, Matteo Perini, Luana Bontempo, Maura Pellegrini, Federica Camin

Honey is one of the most valuable sweeteners consumed by humans all over the world. Consequently, it is often a target for adulteration through the addition of different sugar syrups during or after honey production, resulting in a reduction in its nutritive value. For the first time, this study analyzes honey samples of various botanical species collected from different Lebanese regions using element analyzer (EA) and liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). The δ13C of bulk honey, its protein fraction, and the main individual sugars (glucose, fructose, disaccharides, and trisaccharide) were determined, in order to characterize and evaluate the authenticity of honey consumed in Lebanon. The results showed that the δ13C values for bulk honey and its protein range from −26.5‰ to −24.5‰ and from −26.4‰ to −24.7‰, respectively, for authentic samples. δ13C values for samples adulterated with sugar syrups range from −11.2‰ to −25.1‰ for bulk honey and from −26.6‰ to −23.7‰ for its proteins, with a difference between bulk and protein values between −1 and −8.7‰. Using LC‐C‐IRMS techniques, the δ13C of individual sugars provides additional information on the presence of undeclared sugars. We found that all authentic samples had Δδ13Cf‐g and Δδ13C max values within the naturally occurring range of ±1‰ and ±2.1‰, respectively, while the adulterated samples fall outside the Δδ13C ranges. The oligosaccharide peak was detected in most adulterated samples.