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Open AccessArticle

Physicochemical and Sensorial Characterization of Honey Spirits

by Ofélia Anjos 1,2,3,*, David Frazão 3 and Ilda Caldeira 4,5
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco, Apartado 119, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal
Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
Centro de Biotecnologia de Plantas da Beira Interior, Apartado 119, 6001-909 Castelo Branco, Portugal
Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Unidade Estratégica de Investigação e Serviços de Tecnologia e Segurança Alimentar, Laboratório de Enologia, Unidade de Investigação de Viticultura e Enologia, Dois Portos, Quinta da Almoínha, 2565-191 Dois Portos, Portugal
ICAAM— Instituto de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais Mediterrânicas, Universidade de Évora, Pólo da Mitra, Ap. 94, 7002-554 Évora, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2017, 6(8), 58;
Received: 8 June 2017 / Revised: 22 July 2017 / Accepted: 22 July 2017 / Published: 27 July 2017
Distilled spirits are usually made from fermented sugar-based materials, such as wines or fermented fruits, but other products can be used, namely berries or honey. In this work, an evaluation of honey spirits is done based on its physicochemical and sensory characteristics. Fourteen honey spirit samples of different brands of honey spirit were purchased at the market and from artisan Portuguese producers. Several analytical determinations, namely alcoholic strength, dry matter, density, total acidity, chromatic characteristics, methanol, acetaldehyde, ethyl acetate and higher alcohols were done to characterize all samples. The results pointed out several differences in physicochemical composition of samples. In general, these drinks are characterized by an alcohol strength between 37.4% and 53.0% and a low methanol content, quite null for most samples. Samples with higher ethanol content corresponded to the artisanal samples. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were also observed in the volatile composition and chromatic characteristics suggesting different production technologies. A first list of sensory attributes was obtained for this beverage. Therefore, further research must be done in order to characterize this spirit drink, which has gained market value. View Full-Text
Keywords: honey spirit; honey; physicochemical characterization; sensory analysis; sensory lexicon honey spirit; honey; physicochemical characterization; sensory analysis; sensory lexicon
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MDPI and ACS Style

Anjos, O.; Frazão, D.; Caldeira, I. Physicochemical and Sensorial Characterization of Honey Spirits. Foods 2017, 6, 58.

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