Survey of Ingredients and Chemical Contents of Kurdistan’s Honey and Honeybee Venom


This research reveals that the quality of honey in Iraqi Kurdistan depends on international standards. The samples were subjected to several tests and parameters such as (acidity, pH, Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), moisture content, total sugar with sucrose, fructose, and glucose, electrical conductivity (EC), and the activity of the diastase enzyme). The results showed the mean of Hydroxymethylfurfural varied from (10 ± 9, the mean of total sugar was found (78% ± 2.6 g) of which total sucrose was less than 5% while glucose and fructose means are (27± 2.1 and 39 ± 2) respectively. Electrical conductivity was (3.69 ± 1.24 The diastase enzyme activity examined, which is considered one of the most important biochemical parameters for evaluating natural honey, diastase enzyme activity was (25 ± 9.5 IU) in some types of honey, comparatively. The level of enzyme activity in this honey is extremely rare around the world, which reflects the high quality and authenticity of honey in this region. The last parameter to consider is the proline content, which is an important indicator of honey quality and ripeness. The mean value of proline was (757 ± 181 ppm). There was a positive correlation between diastase activity and honey’s electrical conductance (P=0.0001), but a negative correlation with honey’s with HMF (P=0.0032). Based on these relations, it could be reliant on diastase activity and conductance to detect the high quality of honey paired with low HMF values to indicate honey freshness. This study concluded that honey from Iraqi’s Kurdistan region could be classified as high quality according to international standards based on biochemical properties, enzyme diastase activity, electrical conductivity, and proline content.

The second part of this study illustrated how the thermal treatment of honey is used to prevent honey crystallization, which is one of the main problems that face beekeepers. In this study, three samples of honey were heated at (40, 60, 80 and 100 °C), as a function of time in hours (hr.). Heating the samples at 40 °C did not show any significant effect on hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) production or diastase enzyme activity up to 95 hrs. Heating to higher temperatures (60, 80 and 100 °C) resulted in a regular increase in HMF content and a drop-off in diastase activity as a function of time. The HMF content reached 40 ppm after 80, 12.5 and 6 hrs. for the three samples at 60, 80 and 100 °C respectively. Conversely, diastase enzyme activity reached close to 8 IU after 96, 12.5 and 5 hrs. at the following temperatures: 60, 80 and 100 °C respectively. The results showed that heating temperatures up to 40 °C is safe for long–term storage, while heating at 60 °C could be used for a shorter treatment time. The conclusion is that the temperature must not exceed 60 °C for 5 hours or 80 °C for 1 hour to preserve the honey’s quality. The reaction rate constants and activation energy Ea of HMF formation in three samples were found to be 83.07, 91.79 and 89.57 kJ.mol-1 respectively. Therefore, honey can be preserved in this way while at the same time the HMF remains below the permissible values and the enzymatic activity remains at its highest level.

The third section includes a site survey of trace elements, heavy metals, and biochemical properties of Iraqi Kurdistan honey. Honey represents the reflection of the surrounding environment, and it is used as a biomarker for pollutants in the environment. One of the most essential things to consider while eating food is that it must be free of any residues of toxins or heavy metals. In this research, a comprehensive survey of the elements and heavy metals in honey was carried out in the predominate areas of north Iraqi Kurdistan.  The biochemical properties of honey and 20 elements were studied. The pH values of honey’s samples range between (3.66 – 7.05 ), acidity (9 – 35 meq/kg) moisture percent (12-16.1% ), conductance ( 0.203 – 1.063 mS/m), diastase enzyme activity ( 11.1 – 65 IU), HMF (1.46 – 48 ) and the average sugar content ( 3.14, 27.2, 39.2, and 77.8) for sucrose, glucose, fructose, and total sugar percentage, respectively. The mean values of elements and heavy metals were found for ( Pb, Sb, As, Zn, Cu, Ni, Co, Fe, Mn, Cr, V, Ti, Mg, Al, Sr, Ba, Cd, Se, Mo and Be) were (0.050, 0.037, 0.005, 0.916, 1.096, 0.257, 0.034, 6.977, 1.232, 2.309, 1.355, 0.033, 74.803, 61.565, 1.300, 0.178, 0.008, 0.366, 0.039 and 0.0 ppm) respectively. A single sample from Erbil governorate showed a high quantity of aluminum, and the highest value for Pb was found in Sulaymaniyah governorate. Additionally, Sulaymaniyah had the highest concentration of all the other important nutrients. The final findings demonstrated that the honey from the Kurdistan region is not contaminated with heavy metals (HM) and contains sufficient essential nutrients that are necessary to human health, supporting the region’s honey’s quality. The molecular morphology of Kurdistan bee honey was studied. It was found various subspecies of honeybees, such as Apis Mellifera carnica, Apis Mellifera mellifera, ligustica, and caucasica, were discovered in the Kurdistan region. The last chapter in this dissertation is related to bee venom, bee venom has the antibacterial effects on both Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli   , which can reduce bacterial growth by 20% for Gram +ve and 12% for both respectively. The Beta cells are severely cytotoxically affected by bee venom.

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