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Authenticity: Analytical method for fraud detection in honey

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In a draft report published 8 October 2013*, members of the European Parliament drew up a list of products that are most at risk of food fraud. Honey is included in their list.

The most common fraud in honey is adulteration, usually by addition of sugar. However other types of fraud exist, for example the false declaration of botanical or geographical origin. Traceability is therefore crucial for honey and other products from the hive to ensure a fair and sustainable beekeeping sector.

The Eurofins Laboratory in Nantes has developed a new analytical technique to test different kinds of honey. Developed as part of a collaborative research project, this method significantly improves the detection of adulteration. 

The technique used is high resolution Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) profiling. This is an innovative high-throughput technique, providing a wide range of information that is both targeted (quantification of defined substances) and non-targeted (identifying deviations from reference spectra). For further information on our honey testing.

The Advantages of the Eurofins method is it is an innovative and unique performance compared to other analytical methods on the market: detecting fraud cannot be circumvented by the use of sugar syrups with no isotopic or molecular "markers".

Eurofins can also offer additional analyses for a complete monitoring of honey products, such as tests to check the geographical origin of honey (multi-isotope analysis).

Our laboratories also have a comprehensive portfolio of powerful analytical techniques to help clients monitor the safety, composition, authenticity, origin, traceability and purity of food products.

*2013/2091(INI) :

Published: 30 January 2014