Differentiation of Monofloral Honey Using Volatile Organic Compounds by HS-GCxIMS
Honey is a natural product and can be described by its botanical origin, determined by the plants from which the bees collect nectar. It significantly influences the taste of honey and is often used as a quality criterion. Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility of food fraud. Currently, various methods are used to check the authenticity of monofloral honey. The laborious, manual melissopalynology is considered an essential tool in the verification process. In this work, the volatile organic compounds obtained from the headspace of honey are used to prove their authenticity. The headspace of 58 honey samples was analyzed using a commercial easy-to-use gas chromatography-coupled ion mobility spectrometer with a headspace sampler (HS-GCxIMS). The honey samples were successfully differentiated by their six different botanical origins using specific markers with principal component analysis in combination with linear discriminant analysis. In addition, 15 honey-typical compounds were identified using measurements of reference compounds. Taking a previously published strategy, retention times of marker compounds were correlated with GC-coupled mass spectrometry (GC-MS) measurements to assist in the identification process.