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[en] There is increasing usage of honey as a dressing on infected wounds, burns and ulcers, but there is some concern that there may be a risk of wound botulism from the clostridial spores sometimes found in honey. It is well-established that the antibacterial activity is heat-labile so would be destroyed if honey were sterilized by autoclaving , but the effect of gamma-irradiation on the antibacterial activity of honey is not known. Therefore an investigation was carried out to assess the effect on the antibacterial activity of honey when the honey was subjected to a commercial sterilization procedure using gamma-irradiation (25 kGy). Two honeys with antibacterial activity due to enzymically-generated hydrogen peroxide and three manuka honeys with non-peroxide antibacterial activity were investigated. The honeys were tested against Staphylococcus aureus in an agar well diffusion assay. There was no significant change found in either type of antibacterial activity resulting from this form of sterilization of honey, even when the radiation was doubled (to 50 kGy). (Author)
[en] Radioecological investigations regarding fission products in foodstuffs in Croatia are implemented as part of an extended and still ongoing radioactive contamination monitoring programme of the human environment. The programme has been designed and endorsed by the Croatian State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Security and fully harmonized with European legislation, i.e. the European Commission's recommendation of June 2000 on the application of Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty. For describing the overall possible impact the contaminants have on the entire region, the most efficient sampler would be one that covers the largest area possible. In this sense, honey has been shown to be an excellent biological indicator for detecting radionuclides but also other pollutants such as heavy metals. In Croatia, radiocaesium nuclides like 137Cs and 134Cs in honey were first investigated after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. For both radionuclides, the activity concentrations in honey, which peaked in May 1986, decreased exponentially and the estimated ecological residence time, corrected for radioactive decay, was found to be 1.23 y for 137Cs and 1.07 y for 134Cs. In the early 1990s, activity concentrations in honey for both radionuclides were under the detection limit, but again rose after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Effective radiation doses due to radiocaesium, received by the Croatian population by honey consumption, even in the year of the Chernobyl accident were estimated to be very small, the per caput dose being less than 1 micro Sv. Based on radioecological investigations of honey, we argue that the mobility of honey bees and their ability to integrate all exposure pathways could add another level of confidence to the present monitoring program if honey and other bee-farming products are included in the routine radioecological monitoring programme for the Croatian environment. (author).
[en] In the Pampa region of Argentina, most beehives are situated near to soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] crop and honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) use its floral resources. Soybean is often sprayed with pesticides but very little is known about their repellent action against bees. This study evaluates the visit of honey bees to crop after the application of agrochemicals aiming to check for repellency of them and estimate the possible impact on crop pollination. For this, six treatments were used (glyphosate + cypermethrin; glyphosate; cypermethrin; lambda-cyhalothrin; methoxyfenocide; Bacillus thuringiensis) and developed on plots of 625 m2, located in Oro Verde (Argentina), applying two sprays during the crop flowering. The bees were captured using entomological net every 4 days in three different times from the day after the first spraying and up the end of crop flowering. The results showed very little or no repellent action of pesticides on A. mellifera, noting that it foraged on soybean flowers regardless of the temporal proximity and the type of product used in sprays. Possible causes are discussed and the need for larger studies is evident in field conditions related to pesticides repellency and mixtures. Also, further evaluation of the effects of the different chemical formulations available on the market and used regionally where the subspecies A. mellifera can be found. Simultaneously some management practices that could help minimize the risk of contamination are mentioned; the use of defensive crop products of biological origin is encouraged as well as further research in this topic. (Author)
[en] The method of preparation of honey sample for tritium monitoring was described. The equipments consist of an air and honey supply system, a quartz combustor with CM-type monolithic combustion catalyst and a condensation system. In the equipments, honey sample was converted into cooling water by the distilling, cracking and carbonizing procedures for tritium counting. The recovery ratio is 99.0 ± 4.5 percent for tritiated water and 96.0 ± 2.0 for tritiated organic compounds. It is a feasible preparing method for the total tritium monitoring in honey sample
[en] According to the Codex Alimentarius and the European Commission Directive each food has a maximum residual antibiotic (MRLs) however, for honey is still no limit set. Among the main methods that guarantee the detection of antibiotic residues include the Premi Test which is a qualitative method for the detection of antibiotics in honey, but it remains a non-specific method for this matrix and long enough (three hours of incubation). Through this work, we were able to develop and optimize a new kit called Honey test. This kit is able to detect the presence of antibiotic residues in honey by a bacterial strain radio-resistant called D.ra. The duration of treatment is only 30 minutes, requiring incubation at 37 Degree C and treatment with UV at 366 nm. This work will be the subject of a national patent.
[en] Due to perishable nature of fruits and vegetables, as well as, lack of sufficient storage facility including cold chain approximately 40% of fresh fruits are lost after harvest in India. According to the ISBS reports in 2016, canned fruit and vegetables (40%), frozen fruits and vegetables (36%), Juices and salads (14%), dried and dehydrated fruits (10%) are the major categories of the processed fruit and vegetable commodities. Besides fresh fruits and vegetables, traditional Indian diet comprises of a variety of processed and allied food products as well as beverages. Honey and apiculture (bee-keeping) have been an integral part of our country from the ancient times. With the increasing demand of Indian oil refineries, there is an acute need for production of indigenous xanthan gum. Apart from the common masses, need for ready to eat healthy shelf-stable meal of good palatability is equally felt by army men posted in remote locations, victims of natural calamity, mountaineers and school children from economically challenged families. Instead of biscuits, shelf-stable traditional foods like 'Litti' and 'Laddoo' can be much healthier alternatives for such situations. In the past five decades, scientists in Food Technology Division have put great efforts to develop many such products
[en] Natural honey (NH) and Nigella sativa (NS) seeds have been in use as a natural remedy for over thousands of years in various parts of the world. The aim of this study was to assess the protective effects of NS (Nigella sativa) and NH (natural honey) on acetylsalicylic acid induced gastric ulcer in an experimental model with comparison to Cimetidine (CD). The study was conducted on 100 male albino rats, divided into 5 groups, with 20 animals in each group. Group A was used as a control and treated with Gum Tragacanth (GT). Eighty animals of the other groups were given acetylsalicylic acid (0.2 gm/kg body weight for 3 days) to produce ulcers by gavage. Two animals from each group were sacrificed for the detection of gastric ulcers. The remaining 72 animals were equally divided in four groups (B, C, D and E). The rats in group B, C and D were given NS, NH, and CD respectively while those in E were kept as such. No gastric lesions were seen in control group A while all the animals in group E revealed gastric ulcers. The animals of group B, C and D showed healing effects in 15/18 (83%), 14/18 (78%) and 17/18 (94%) animals grossly; 13/18 (72%), 14/18 (78%) and 16/18 (89%) rats showed recovery on microscopic examination respectively. The healing effects were almost the same in all three groups therefore, the statistical difference was not significant among them (p =0.40 and 0.65) while significant from group E (p=0.0000075, 0.0000016 and 0.0000012 respectively). NS and NH are equally effective in healing of gastric ulcer similar to cimetidine. Further broad spectrum studies as well as clinical trials should be conducted before the use of these products as routine medicines. (author)
[en] As mutation is the well known mechanism of neoplastic induction, therefore foods having bioactive compounds with potential to combat mutagenesis are of immense significance. Although honey is a well known natural functional food with associated health supporting quality attributes, there are limited reports with respect to its antimutagenic potential and the effect of floral type on the same. Antimutagenicity or the ability to prevent neoplastic inductions is being considered as an effective strategy to combat mutagen associated diseases. Therefore different regional Indian honeys varying in natural floral types procured were evaluated for their comparative antimutagenicity using a novel E. coli based forward mutation detection assay where mutation(s) in rpoB gene abolishes its interaction with rifampicin and thus confers rifampicin resistant mutator phenotype (RifR) to E. coli cells. Honey displayed wide variation in their ability to prevent induced mutagenesis and among 24 honey samples collected, 'Karanj' honey (Pongammia pinnata) displayed prominent (∼ 80%) antimutagenicity. Besides, honeys were also evaluated for their comparative antibacterial activity against various bacteria such as S. typhimurium, S. aureus, P. syringae etc. Surprisingly, honey of same floral type differed in their antibacterial potentials. Although honey is acidic in nature, the acidity of honey was not found to be the contributing factor of antibacterial activity. Instead, in almost all the cases the antibacterial activity was attributed to the peroxide component of honey. Besides, gamma radiation treatment was also standardized to ensure microbial safety of honey as it may contain burden of pathogenic microbial spores. Radiation (15 kGy) treatment of honey did not affect its antimutagenicity and antibacterial activity. Thus, the current findings provide credible evidence supporting health protective effects of honey and its retention in radiation hygienized honey. (author)
[en] In the previous newsletter, we reported on research into methodology for the classification of honey of various floral and geographical origins using UPLC-QToF MS and MVA.The research on honey authenticity was expanded using multivariate data analysis of data generated by a number of different analytical techniques to discriminate honeys of different floral origins. The feasibility of a multivariate approach, including various chemical parameters and multivariate data analysis, for the discrimination of various honeys originating from one region, was explored. One of the earliest applications of nuclear techniques for food authenticity was the use of carbon isotopes to detect the addition of cheap sugars in honey in the 1970s. The principle is that the cheap sugar (fructose) is derived from corn and has a higher 13C/12C that the fructose from honey. This difference is due to the different photosynthetic pathways; corn is a C4 plant and that mechanism does not discriminate against the 13C as much as the C3 pathway used by most honey-producing plants. Consequently the two plant types have quite different carbon isotope ratios. Thus measurements of the carbon isotope ratios can distinguish between the two sources of fructose. However, within each plant population there is natural variability in isotope ratios. This makes detecting the addition of small amounts of corn syrup difficult. The test was further refined by its developers to use 13C/12C measurements on protein purified from the honey as an internal reference, based on the fact that if the sugar and protein are from the same plant then they should be closely related in isotopic ratio. This refined method was adopted by the Association of Analytical Chemists as an official method (AOAC 998.12) and is part of the Codex Alimentarius standard for testing authenticity of honey. This test is generally reliable. However, some honey, notably New Zealand manuka, has a frequent fail rate. Manuka is a premium honey valued for its non-peroxide antimicrobial activity (NPA).The NPA is thought to be due to high levels of methyl glyoxal (MGO) and it is the manuka honey with high levels of MGO that fail the C4 sugar adulteration test. Work by FEPL indicates that this is partly due to the beekeeping practice of feeding sugar to bees during the winter. However, that does not explain the late season failures, or that the extent of failure increases as manuka honey ages. The MGO levels in manuka increase with age and it has been shown that high MGO is correlated with high apparent C4 sugar content. Current research in this field in FEPL is focused on modifying the AOAC method to overcome these false positives in the C4 sugar adulteration. A method has been developed for the removal of MGO prior to the purification of the protein that is measured as internal standard. It is hoped that the removal of the MGO will eliminate the interference in the isotope test. Tests are now underway to establish the optimum conditions for the removal of MGO and to show that the additional procedure does not affect the isotopic composition of the purified protein. Once those tasks are completed the work will move to the validation stage and involve other laboratories to test the procedure. The FEPL is currently carrying out a study on method validation for the detection of several pesticides in potato samples. The extraction and clean-up method used is known as the Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effective Rugged and Safe (QuEchERS) for pesticide residue determination, and uses a gas chromatograph coupled to a mass selective detector (GC-MSD) for analyte separation and detection. According to the SANCO document (SANCO/12571/2013), matrix effects should be assessed at the initial method validation stage. Therefore as part of the calibration strategies for our method both matrix-matched and solvent calibrators were prepared