Honey Authenticity Analysis: A Proposed Workflow Using the SCIEX X500R QTOF System

New Organic Monitoring Techniques
Oral Presentation

Prepared by , D. Tran
South Coast AQMD, 21865 Copley Drive, Diamond Bar, California, 91765, United States

Contact Information: kc.hyland@sciex.com; 650-410-0842


Honey is one of the most commonly adulterated food commodities globally. One adulteration practice is the dilution of honey products with a cheaper sugar syrup, such as corn syrup. Dilution or fraudulent labelling can also occur in instances where honey products have disparate levels of value due to rarity or other unique properties. Nontargeted mass spectrometry-based methods, common in the “omics” disciplines, can be employed in the identification and characterization of reliable marker compound(s) which would then be transferred to a targeted method for routine monitoring. This study shows the potential for the X500R QTOF system, SCIEX OS, MarkerView Software, and MS/MS libraries to be leveraged in investigating honey chemical profiles and potential for adulterant screening.

A nontargeted MS approach is demonstrated to be effective in profiling honeys and identifying fraudulent dilution.Eleven honey samples were tested, and to mimic fraudulent honey products and asses the ability of the method to detect corn syrup adulteration, an experiment was performed in which honey samples were diluted with a series of increasing corn syrup concentrations. In practical application, this type of analysis may be used to profile honeys and investigate markers which may be present in different products of varying origins or processes. Seven natural products were identified in the honey samples using the SCIEX Natural Products MS/MS Library 2.0. These targets could then be applied to honey samples to achieve relative quantitation of these species in the different honey varietals. A t-test analysis of corn syrup features versus all honeys was used to pick features unique to the corn syrup. Plotting the response of these features across the series of diluted honey samples illustrates capacity to measure honey dilution with corn syrup.