African Journal of
Food Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Food Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0794
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJFS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 924

Article in Press

Physico-chemical and microbiological characteristics of honey produced by stingless bees (Meliponula beccarii) from the Oromia Region, Ethiopia

Teferi Damto, Deresa Kebeba, Meseret Gemeda

  •  Received: 25 February 2022
  •  Accepted: 13 April 2022
There is a lack of information about the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics as well as quality standards of Stingless bee honey in Ethiopia. Hence, the study was designed to characterize the Physico-chemical properties and microbiological quality of stingless bee honey (Meliponula beccarii L.) in the Oromia Region, Ethiopia. About thirty-nine (39) honey samples were collected from underground soils through an excavation of natural nests. The study revealed that the mean values of physicochemical parameters for honey samples were: moisture content (30.69±0.29), ash content (0.16±0.01), electrical conductivity (0.44±0.2), pH (3.30±0.03), free acidity (92.39±4.45), HMF (6.58±0.36), fructose (36.48±0.54), glucose (27.67±0.43), sucrose (1.24±0.18), maltose (1.2±0.18) and reducing sugar (64.15±0.75). The color of the majority of Meliponulla beccarii honey studied was classified as light amber (50 %). Stingless bee honey in this study is characterized as possessing higher moisture content and free acidity, but a lower level of sugar as compared to Apis mellifera standard. The occurrence of microorganisms in the stingless honey sample ranged from 2.55 x 10 4 CFU /ml to 1.9 x 103 CFU/ml for Aerobic Mesophilic, 1.68 x104 to 9 x102 CFU/ml for yeast, and 1.8 x103 to 2 x102 CFU/ml for mold were counted. The number of aerobic spore-forming bacteria was at non-detectable levels in all samples while Staphylococci species was detectable only in a sample obtained from Gudurru. This indicated that there might be contamination during the harvesting, processing, and storage of stingless bee honey samples with some microorganisms from different sources. This implies that the microbiological and physicochemical properties of stingless bee honey are different from those of A. mellifera honey need specific quality standards to promote its commercialization.

Keywords: Honey; Physico-chemical; Microbiological; Stingless bees.