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The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey

Department of Odontostomatologic and Specialized Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Polytechnic University of Marche, Avenue Ranieri 65, Ancona 60100, Italy
Department of Nutrition and Health, International Iberoamerican University (UNINI), Avenue Adolfo Ruiz Cortines 112, Torres de Cristal L 101 A-3, Campeche 24040, Mexico
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Via Ranieri 65, Ancona 60100, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2014, 3(3), 420-432;
Received: 21 May 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 21 July 2014
PDF [355 KB, uploaded 21 July 2014]


Honey has been used as a food and medical product since the earliest times. It has been used in many cultures for its medicinal properties, as a remedy for burns, cataracts, ulcers and wound healing, because it exerts a soothing effect when initially applied to open wounds. Depending on its origin, honey can be classified in different categories among which, monofloral honey seems to be the most promising and interesting as a natural remedy. Manuka honey, a monofloral honey derived from the manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), has greatly attracted the attention of researchers for its biological properties, especially its antimicrobial and antioxidant capacities. Our manuscript reviews the chemical composition and the variety of beneficial nutritional and health effects of manuka honey. Firstly, the chemical composition of manuka honey is described, with special attention given to its polyphenolic composition and other bioactive compounds, such as glyoxal and methylglyoxal. Then, the effect of manuka honey in wound treatment is described, as well as its antioxidant activity and other important biological effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: manuka honey; polyphenolic composition; wound treatments; antimicrobial activity manuka honey; polyphenolic composition; wound treatments; antimicrobial activity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Alvarez-Suarez, J.M.; Gasparrini, M.; Forbes-Hernández, T.Y.; Mazzoni, L.; Giampieri, F. The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey. Foods 2014, 3, 420-432.

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