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THE PHYSICOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF HONEY

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1 - 5 ::   Pages: 27 ::   Attributes: Abstract  ::   6,271 people found this useful

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BIOCHEMISTRY UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Honey is as old as written history dating back to 2100 BC where it was mentioned Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings, the Hittie code and then sacred writings of India and Egypt it is presumably even older than that. It names from English living and it was the first and most wide spread sweetener used by man, legend has it that cupid dipped his love arrows in honey before aiming at unsuspecting lovers. In the old testament of the Bible, Israel was often referred to as the land of milk and honey. “Mead, an alcoholic drink made from honey was called nectar of the goods” high praise indeed. Honey was valued highly and often used as a form of currency tribute or offering. In the 4th century A. D German peasants paid their feudal Lords in honey and beeswax.

Although experts argue whether the honeybee is native to the Americas, conquering spanards in 1600 AD found Mexicans and Central Americans had already developed bee keeping method to produce honey. In ancient days, honey has been used not only in food and beverages, but also to make cement in furniture polishes and varnishes and for medicinal purposes. And of course, bees perform vital senlice of pollinating fruits, legumes and other types of food producing plants in the course of their business of honey production. Honey was pronounced in English (hnni) is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees i.e. (GenusApis) is the most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by bee keepers and consumed by human. Honey produced by other bees and insects has distinctly different properties. Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation, and store it as a primary food source wax honey combs inside the beehive. Beekeeping practices encourage over production of honey so the excess can be taken from the colony. Honey acts its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar. It has attractive chemical properties for baking and a distinctive flavours that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweetness. Most microorganisms do not grow in honey because of its low water activity (9w) of 0.6. However, honey sometimes contains dormant endospores of the bacterium clostridium botulinum which can be dangerous to infants, as the endospores can transform into toxin producing bacteria in the infant’s immature intestinal tract, leading to illness and even death.

Honey has a long history of human consumption, and is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavouring. It also has a role in religion and symbolism, flavours of honey varies based on the available. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. The study of pollens and spores in raw honey (mellissopalynology) can determine the floral source of honey. Because bees carry an Electrostatic charge and can attract other particles, the same techniques of melissopalynology can be used in area environmental studies of radioactive particles dust or particulate pollution. Honey is produced by bees as a food source. In cold weather or when fresh food source are scarce, bees use their stored honey as their source of energy. By controlling for bee swarms to nest in artificial hives, people have been able to semidomesticate the insects and harvest excess honey. In the hive (or in a wild nest). There are three (3) types of bee in a hive. A single female queen bee, A seasonally variable number of male drone bees to fertise new queens and some 20,000 + 40,000 female workers bees. The worker bees raise larvae and collect the nectar that will become honey in the hive. Leaving the hive, they collect sugar –rich flower nectar and return.

In the hive, the bees use their “Honey stomachs” to ingest and regurgitate the nectar a number of times until it is partially digested. The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion until the product reaches a desired quality. It is then store honeycomb cells after the final regurgitation the honeycomb is left unsealed. However, the nectar is still high in both water content and natural yeast which unchecked would cause the sugars in the nectar to ferment. The process continues as bees inside the hive fan their wings creating a strong draft across the honeycomb, which enhances evaporation of much of the water from the nectar. This reduction in water content raises the sugar concentration and prevent fermentation. Ripe honey as removed from the hive by a bee keeper has a long shelf-life and will not ferment if properly sealed. Honey use and production has a long and varied history in many culture honey has associations that as beyond its use as a food. Honey is as a talisman and symbol of sweetness.

Honey is collected from wild bee colonies or from domesticated beehives. Wild bee nest are sometime located by following a honey guide bird. Collecting honey is typically achieved by using smoke from a bee smoker to pacify the bees, this causes the bees to attempt to save resource of the hive from a possible forest fire, and makes than far less aggressive. The honeywomb is removed from the hive and the honey is extracted from that often using a honey extractor. Then the honey is laxer filtered. The effect honey has on light is useful for determining the type and quality variations in the water content alter the refractive index of honey. Water content can easily be measured with a refractometer. Typically the refractive index for honey will range from 1.504 at 13% humidity, to 1.474 at 25%. Honey also has an effect on polarized light in that it will rotate the polarization plane. The fructose will give a negative rotation while the glucose will give a positive one. The overall can rotation be used to measure the ratio of the mixture.

Moreso, honey has the ability to absorb moisture directly from the air, a phenomenon called hygroscopy. The amount of water the honey will absorb is dependent on the relative humidity of the air. This hygroscopic nature require that honey be stored in a sealed containers to prevent fermentation. Honey will tend to absorb more water in this manner than the individual sugars would allow on their own which may be due to other ingredients it contains.

Honey which contains a number of antioxidants components that act as preservatives, also shows promise as a replacement for some synthetic antioxidant widely used as a preservatives in salad dressings and other foods, according to Vicki Engeseth, associate professor of food chemistry at the university. High fructose syrups that is known as Isoglucose in Europe, kicked in the US in the 1970s when the country developed new technologies to process this bulk calorific sweetener. The ingredient is an alternative to sucrose rapidly gained in popularity and is now used extensively by soft drinks makers such as Coca-cola and Pepsi-cola.

More so, honey natural syrup produced by bees is similar to invert sugar, with a small but variable excess of lacunose (fructose). The composition and flavour of honey varies with the plant source of the nectar processing and storage but a typical composition is 41% percent fructose, 34%, 18% and 2% sucrose with a PH value of 3.8-4.2. According to the US researcher, Dark coloured honey such as buck wheat honey is generally thought to certain higher levels of antioxidants than the light coloured varieties.

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