Honey variety is commonly defined by beekeepers based on nectar flow availability and the only laboratory method to provide verification is the melissopalynological analysis. Therefore, a quick and simple method for accurate assessment of honey variety is still being researched. The aim of the study was to evaluate the antioxidant activity of honey as an indicator of variety through the use of multivariate statistical analysis. Materials for the study consisted of 90 samples of varietal Polish honeys (rape-12, tilia-10, goldenrod-11, dandelion-5, buckwheat-6, multifloral-17, nectar-honeydew-8 and coniferous honeydew-16 and leafy honeydew-5) obtained directly from apiaries. Honeys were investigated in aspect of antioxidant capacity by photochemiluminescence (PCL) methods using standard ACW and ACL kits. As the reference FRAP and DPPH methods were used. The total phenolics content (TPC) was determined through the Folin-Ciocalteu method. The strongest antioxidant activity was found for buckwheat, while the weakest was found for rape honeys regardless of the used method. Results of the used methods were positively correlated (r = 0.42 to 0.94). Analysis conducted by PCL method confirmed that the minor fraction of honey antioxidants exhibits hydrophobic properties. Clear separation of honey varieties using PCA and Clustering method indicate that antioxidant activity can be a useful parameter for determining the botanical origin of honey.
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