Yucatecan students create adulterated honey detector

Academics and students of the Technological Institute of Yucatan work in the creation of a method that allows to know with a quick test if honey is authentic or is it contains other kind of syrup.

Yucatan honey is considered one of the best in the country and the world, but it is not exempt from the main problem affecting the market of this sweet product made by bees.

Concerned about this issue that may affect the demanding international markets where Yucatan honey is marketed, academics and students from the Technological Institute of Mexico (ITM) have created a method that identifies which honey is pure and which is adulterated.

Members of the Biotechnological Group of Mexico (Grubiomex) detected that in addition to water and sugar, which represent about 99.6 percent of its composition, honey contains proteins that other similar sweetners don’t have (corn syrup, beet, sugar or rice syrup or added pollen, just to mention a few).

In this way, a quick one-minute test allows to know almost immediately the purity of the product with just one drop, according to the color of which the liquid is dyed when reacting with an reagent used as indicator.

“The test works as follows: a sample of one drop of honey is taken, put in a tube and shake it for one minute, and the level of purity is determined by the color, if it turns light blue it means the honey is 100 percent pure, ” explained Yameli Borges, spokesperson for Grubiomex.

“A reagent detects both the concentrations of sugars and other compounds such as proteins, this will indicate the honey’s degree of adulteration,” said Gabriel Oswaldo Vargas, a student of Masters in Science of Sanitation and Biotechnology at the Technological Institute of Mérida and who works in the development of the testing product.

With this test, the group of students seeks to support the producers and merchants of honey in the state, so they can offer their product and ensure that it is pure honey, which can result in a better sales price.

For now, the members of Grubiomex are in the development phase of this testing product, so they are looking for investment to materialize it. The group also has the participation of chemical and medical engineers.

Until March 2019, Yucatán led the production of honey in Mexico, with 2,166 tons of honey.

 

The Yucatan Times Newsroom with information from El Financiero.



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