Microbiological and physicochemical analysis of yateí (Tetragonisca angustula) honey for assessing quality standards and commercialization


Due to the interest in the production and trading of yateí (Tetragonisca angustula) honey in the province of Misiones, Argentina, in this work we assessed microbiological and physicochemical parameters in order to contribute to the elaboration of standards for quality control and promote commercialization. Results showed that yateí honey samples had significantly different microbiological and physicochemical characteristics in comparison to established quality standards for Apis mellifera honey. Thus, we observed that values for pH (3.72), glucose (19.01 g/100 g) and fructose (23.74 g/100 g) were lower than A. mellifera quality standards, while acidity (79.42 meq/kg), moisture (24%), and mould and yeast count (MY) (3.02 log CFU/g) were higher. The acid content was correlated with glucose (R²=0.75) and fructose (R²=0.68) content, and also with mould and yeast counts (R²=0.45) to a lesser extent. The incidence of microorganisms in yateí honey samples reached 42.85% and 39% for Clostridium sulfite-reducers and Bacillus spp., respectively. No C. botulinum or B. cereus cells were detected. Enterococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. incidence was similar (ca. 7.14%), whereas Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. were not detected. We conclude that the microbiological and physicochemical properties of yateí honey are different from those of A. mellifera honey; hence, different quality standards could be implemented to promote its commercialization

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