Journal of
Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

  • Abbreviation: J. Pharmacognosy Phytother.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2502
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPP
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 223

Full Length Research Paper

A convenient new analysis of dihydroxyacetone and methylglyoxal applied to Australian Leptospermum honeys

Sarah Windsor1*, Matthew Pappalardo1, Peter Brooks1, Simon Williams2 and Merilyn Manley-Harris2
1Faculty of Science, Health and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC Queensland 4558, Australia. 2Chemistry Department, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 18 August 2011
  •  Published: 31 January 2012


New Zealand mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey is known to exhibit non-peroxide antibacterial activity caused by the active ingredient methylglyoxal which arises by chemical conversion of dihydroxyacetone during honey maturation. This study determines whether methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone are present in Australian Leptospermumhoneys. This research developed a rapid and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatographic method for the concurrent analysis of methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone in honeys. Both compounds were quantified as their O-(2, 3, 4, 5, 6-pentafluorobenzyl) hydroxylamine. HCl derivatives on single run reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection. Four species of monofloral Leptospermum honeys sourced from Northern Rivers Region, New South Wales, Australia contained methylglyoxal and dihydroxyacetone. The highest methylglyoxal concentrations were found in Leptospermum polygalifolium honeys.


Key words: High-performance liquid chromatography, dihydroxyacetone; methylglyoxal,Leptospermum, honey, mānuka.


L, Leptospermum; MGO, methylglyoxal; DHA, dihydroxyacetone; HPLC, high-performance liquid chromatography; PFBHA, O-(2, 3, 4, 5, 6-pentafluorobenzyl) hydroxylamine; HCl, hydrochloric acid; ACN, acetonitrile; HA, hydroxyacetone.