22. Honey Products & Natural Waxes - EFRAC | Drug, Food, Gas, Proficiency Testing Laboratory
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    Honey & Honey Product

    Honeybees of the Genus Apis produce Honey, a thick, Organic, Viscous, Natural Sugar. Cave paintings prove that Humans harvested Honey in Spain about 8,000 years back. Organized Beekeeping dates back to 3,500 BCE in Egypt where it was used as a Sweetener in food & for Healing Wounds. Modern Studies suggest that the Protein Defensin-1, & Hydrogen Peroxide in the Manuka Grade Honey Are Bacteria killers.

    The excess moisture in Flower based Nectar is removed by Bees after collection. Dehydrated Nectar is then inverted into Levulose (Fructose) & Dextrose (Glucose) Sugar called Nectar/ Blossom/Flower Honey. The other type is Honeydew Honey, a mixture of secretions left behind by Plant Sucking Insects and subsequently collected by Bees. Honeydew Honey has become increasingly popular in recent years.

    Honey, available in Raw or Pasteurized form in a variety of Color grades is easily assimilated. Raw Honey often contains trace amounts of Yeast, Wax, and Pollen. Honey is acidic with an average pH value of 3.9 and is susceptible to granulation over time at temperatures between 10°C & 18 °C. Mead or Metheglin is an Alcoholic Beverage fermented from Honey & Water.

    Carbohydrates constitute about 95% of the dry weight of Honey. Nearly 181 constituents such as Organic Acids, Polyphenols, Vitamins, Minerals, Alcohols, Aroma compounds, Colloids, Carotenoid-like substances, and Enzymes have been identified making up roughly 2.1% of the Honey constituents. Honey is extensively used by the Food processing industry as an add-on to different confections like Bakes & Confections, Candies, prepared Fruits, Cereals, and Ayush formulations.

    Water Content & Authenticity are critical parameters in Honey Quality Testing. While Water content significantly affects its Shelf Life & its Purity, Authenticity relates both to its Geographical & Botanical Origins and to Additives such as Sugar & Corn Syrups, Invert Sugar, Glucose, Dextrose, Molasses, Starch, Flour, and the like. Contaminants Antibiotic and Pesticide Residues make Honey unsafe for human consumption.

    FSSAI as the Food Regulatory Authority in India has set specific Standards ensuring the Quality & safety of Honey & its Products.

    India is the largest exporter of Honey in the world, particularly to the USA, UAE & Singapore. EFRAC tests Honey & Honey Products across multiple Food Matrices in conformance to Standards/ Specifications laid down by the FSSAI, IS, FAO-Codex, AOAC, Section 403 (i) of the FD & C Act and FDA 21 CFR 101.3(b) to comply with International Regulations.

    Natural Waxes

    Natural waxes, a mix of esters, alcohols and fatty acids are stronger, less fatty than oils and fats, but resist oxidation and are less affected by moisture and microbes. Its emollient and protective qualities are utilized in congealing formulations, in boosting viscosity and consistency and in imparting stability to cosmetics.

    Natural waxes may be of Animal / Insect origin – Bee, Lanolin, Shellac or of Vegetable origin- Candelilla Wax, Carnauba Wax, Castor Wax or even of Mineral or Petroleum origin – Petroleum, Ceresin. In India, Food Regulator, FSSAI permits use of Beeswax, Candelilla Wax and Carnauba Wax for food applications.

    EFRAC‘s tests’ for purity and quality of natural waxes for food and cosmetic manufacturers enable them to conform to requirements laid down by the USDA NOP (National Organic Program) for “Organic Label” Claims. At EFRAC the dedicated analytical team is equipped with the necessity state-of-the-art facilities and technical expertise to ensure complete safety of the testing samples.

    PARAMETERS

    WET CHEMISTRY:

    • Moisture • Refractive Index • Specific Gravity • Sucrose • Fructose / Glucose Ratio • Total Dietary fibre • Fiehe’s Test • Aniline Chloride Test  • HMP • Ash • Acid insoluble Ash • Acidity • Invert Sugar • Foreign Matter • Total Reducing Sugars • Acid Value / Acid Number • Appearance • Colour • Insoluble Impurities • Iodine Value / Iodine Number • Melting Point • Melting Range • Peroxide Value/ Peroxide Number • Refractive Index • Cloud Point • Saponification Value / Saponification Number • Unsaponifiable Matter  • Viscosity • Volatile Matter (including Moisture)

    INSTRUMENT (HPLC):

    • NOTS

    OTHER PARAMETERS:

    • Colour • Chloramphenicol • Nitrofurans • Streptomycin • Tetracycline • Sulfonamides • Organochlorine Compounds: Chlorbenzilate, Hexachlorobenzene, p, p DDT, o, p, DDT, p, p DDE, p, p, DDD, α-HCH, β- HCH, γ-HCH, Vinclozolin • Allergen • Heavy metal • Melamine• Benzene Solubility • Congealing Point • Drop Point • Ester Value • Ester Number • Flash Point  • Needle Penetration • Oil Content •Paraffinic Hydrocarbons • Ratio Number • Resinous Matter • Saponification

    METHOD OF ANALYSIS

    • IS • AOAC • FSSAI Laboratory Manual • ISO • ASTM • AOAC • BP • USP

    INSTRUMENTS

    • HPLC • GC-FID • GC-MS • LC-MS • UPLC • ICP-MS • ICP-OES • AAS • IC • ELISA