DNA barcoding for the botanical species differentiation in honey Conference Paper uri icon


  • Honey is a natural product widely consumed for its well-known medicinal properties. In general, monofloral honeys have higher economic value since they are perceived as better quality products owing to their specific and well-defined flavor and aroma and, consequently, most appreciated by consumers. Considering that these products are very prone to fraudulent practices and misleading labeling, the development of methodologies for the assessment of their botanical origin and authentication is of utmost importance. For this purpose, traditional methods based on pollen identification by microscopic analysis are presently used. However, this approach is time consuming and greatly depends on the experience/skill of trained analysts (Laube et al., 2010). Recently, due to its high specificity and sensitivity, DNA-based methods are emerging as altemative tools for food authentication since they allow the unequivocal identification of different species. Currently, DNA barcoding has been regarded with increasing interest for the taxonomic identification of species, being recently suggested for the identification of plant species in honey (Bruni et al., 2015). Among several barcode regions, two plastidial genes (matK and rbcL) have been proposed for the differentiation of plants.
  • This work was supported by FCT grant no. LAQV UID/QUI/50006/2013, Joana Costa and Sônia Soares are grateful to FCT grants (SFRH/BPD/102404/2014 and SFRH/BD/75091/2010, respectively) fmanced by POPH-QREN (subsidized by FSE and MCTES). The authors are gratefül for the kind supply of samples from Bank of Plant Germplasm of Tucson, USA.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015