Antimicrobial activities, pollen diversity and physicochemical properties of natural honey from Southeastern Anatolia of Turkey

Menderes Cenet, Adnan Bozdogan, Gokhan Sezer, Leyla Acar, Zeynep Ulukanli


Background: Honey, a natural sweetener, is produced from the nectar of many plants. The pollen diversity, physicochemical properties, and antimicrobial activities were analyzed in honey samples from Mardin (Southeastern Anatolia).

Methods: The melissopalynological method was used to identify and enumerate the pollen granules. Analytical methods and agar well diffusion assays were employed for the determination of some quality parameters and the antimicrobial potential of honey samples, respectively.

Results: The pollen composition consisted of 27 taxa belonging to 13 families. The origins of all honey were determined as the multifloral sources. The most predominant taxa were mainly Hedysarum sp., Carduus sp., Melissa officinalis, Gossypium hirsitum, Paliurus spina-christi, Salix sp. and Pimpinella anisum. The secondary pollen taxa were Hedysarum sp., Trifolium sp., Astragalus sp., Salix sp., Paliurus spina-christi, Asphodeline sp., Centaurea sp., Carduus sp., Zea mays and Cistus sp., respectively. Asphodeline sp. as a secondary pollen taxon in a honey sample could be considered as the first report. The pH, total acidity, brix, refractive index, electrical conductivity, moisture and L, a, b values of the samples varied from 3.75 to 4.28, 30 to 42, 67.3 to 85.70, 1.45 to 1.50, 12.40 to 31.61, 0.24 to 0.90, 47.81 to 57.59, -0.94 to 4.31, 20.37 to 31.28, respectively. Antimicrobial activities of the honey specimens were also effective on five bacterial species and two yeast species.

Conclusions: Honey samples from Southeastern Anatolia revealed a good diversity of pollen granules. The rich multiflora of honey increases not only its nutritional quality as well as antimicrobial potential on various clinically important microorganisms. 

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