Characterization of Honey Produced by Apis Mellifera and Melipona Beecheii Bees from Marigat and East Pokot Regions of Baringo County - Kenya
Kipyegon, Samuel Kirkok
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Baringo County is a major honey producing region particularly Marigat and East Pokot regions known for producing honey from both M beecheii bees and A. mellifera bees. These honeys have not been characterized and hence their quality has remained undocumented. The objective ofthis study was, therefore, to characterize the two types of honey produced in the said regions on the basis of the criteria provided by the International Honey Commission (IHC). To this end then 25 samples of M beecheii bee honey and A. mellifera bees, respectively, were collected from the region by systematic sampling. Subsquently, analyzed for moisture content, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), proline content, electrical conductivity, mineral content, ash and free acidity. Data were subjected to statistical analysis including student t-test which was used to compare the means of the levels of the. measured parameters in the two honey types. The results showed that in A. mellifera honey, the average moisture content was 19.780±O.125%, HMF, 35.617±1.213 mg/kg; proline, 501.553±16.967 mg/kg; and free acidity, 22.987±O.522 meq. The mean specific gravity was 1.344±O.005 g/crn ' while pH was 4.4I±O.024. The minerals found were K (560±3.39 mg/l), Zn (l6.47±0.49 mg/l) , Ca (52.39±2.10 mg/l), Mg (27.04±O.92 mg/l), and Fe (5.06±O.29 mg/l). In M beecheii bee honey the average moisture content found was 32.325±0.202 %, HMF 7.404±0.495 mg/kg; proline 374.769±5.027 mglkg; and free acidity 46.707±1.252 meq. The mean specific gravity was 1.295±O.005 g/cnr' while the pH was 3.53±O.040. M beecheii honey was therefore found to be more acidic than the A. mellifera honey. The minerals found in M beecheii bee honey were K (678±3.80 mg/l); Zn (25.56±1.33 mg/l), Ca (73.87±2.69 mg/l), Mg (48.34±1.41 mg/l), Fe (9.13±0.26 mg/l). Clearly, M beecheii honey had a higher mineral concentration. On the basis of the measured physicochemical parameters the two types of honey were found to be significantly different (p<O.05). In general the two types of honey from Marigat and East Pokot in Baringo County meet the physicochemical specifications of the International Honey Commission. Thus this data should form a clear fouridation for more elaborate characterization of honeys from the entire county and beyond.