Determination of Physicochemical Properties of Sisal Honey from Taita Taveta County Kenya
Otieno, Linah Anyango
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Taita Taveta County hosts the largest sisal estates in the Kenyan coast and therefore has a high potential of sisal honey production. While most unifloral honeys such as acacia, citrus and eucalyptus have been characterized and hence their quality is known, no characterization has been done on sisal honey to determine its quality. This has therefore affected its marketing both inside and outside the country. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize sisal honey from Taita Taveta County in response to concerns raised by local consumers by ascertaining its quality according to the international honey standards set by Codex Alimentaruis which specify the acceptable limits for some of the physicochemical properties of honey. In this study, systematic sampling was used to collect 35 honey samples from four locations of Taita Taveta: Mwatunge, Landis, Kamtonga and Voi. The experimental procedures used to analyse physicochemical properties of honey samples followed the harmonized methods by the International Honey Commission. The results showed that the average Moisture content was, 19.62± 0.10%; Refractive index, 1.4877± 0.008; ash content 0.1512 ± 0.0087%; free acidity, 22.82± 1.28 mEqKg; pH, 4.293± 0.02; density 1.4083± 0.069 g/cm3; HMF, 15.223 ± 4.125 mg/Kg; Proline content 355.29 ±4.125 mg/Kg; Fructose, 40.19±1.9 g/100g; Glucose, 29.56 ± 4.60 g/100g; Sucrose, 3.36±1.34g/100g. The minerals found were K, 32.17 ± 1.28 mg/L; Ca, 0.8947± 0.32 mg/L and Zn 0.835± 0.354 mg/L. These values fulfilled the standards set by the Codex Alimentaruis commission. When the means of parameters of the four locations analysed using Anova (p= 0.05) were compared, no significant differences were noted in the means of all parameters except electrical conductivity. The results of this study indicate that sisal honey has good quality since it met the physicochemical specifications of Codex Alimentaruis. The data obtained from this study is not only important for the commercialization of sisal honey for both local and international honey market but can also be used as a guide to characterization of sisal honey in other parts of the world.