Common ingredients in the world for making counterfeit honey


Inexpensive sugars and commercial syrups are common ingredients for honey cheating. These sugar-based sweeteners based on sugarcane and sugar beet include corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup or HFCS, glucose syrup, sucrose syrup, inverted syrup and invert syrup. They are high fructose inulin syrup. Cheating on honey by sugars has been shown to alter the chemical and biochemical properties of honey, such as enzymatic activity, electrical conductivity, and the contents of certain compounds.

It should be noted that natural honey is not easily distinguished from honey produced with the mentioned substances; Because the base of some of these materials is completely natural and have a similar molecular structure. Hence, they need more advanced methods. This highlights the importance of buying honey along with the warranty and test sheet.

These sugars added to honey are selected based on three factors: the specific region or their origin, the price and economic benefits of using them, and the extent to which they are available. A popular example is the use of rice and wheat syrup as a counterfeit honey sweetener in Turkey and France. Herbal syrups can be obtained by heating vegetable juices or partial enzymatic hydrolysis. According to research, honey is cheated in European countries with HFIS. In the following, common sweeteners used in commercial honey fraud are introduced and their effect on health is discussed.

1. Sugarcane

Sugar cane is sucrose, which is composed of two sugar molecules monosaccharides (glucose and fructose). Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides with the same chemical formula (C6H12O6); But they have different chemical compositions that bind together with a weak glycoside bond to produce sucrose (C12H22O11), a disaccharide. In general, sugarcane sugar is obtained by extracting water from sugarcane and then purifying it by chemical and physical methods, evaporation to remove water and separate the sugar crystal.

2. Corn syrup

Corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a viscous, odorless, colorless liquid that is much denser than water. Corn syrup is a liquid sweetener derived from the hydrolysis of cornstarch and used as a sweetener in foods. Corn syrup is classified according to the amount of fructose, for example: 42, 55 and 90% fructose. High fructose corn syrup fructose cannot be used directly for energy production and must be stored as fat or glycogen in the liver. Hence, large amounts of fructose from HFCS cannot be processed beneficially in the body.

3. Palm Sugar

Palm sugar is extracted from palm flower buds. It is a natural sweetener that goes through minimal processing without the use of chemicals. The major carbohydrates in palm sugar are sucrose, followed by glucose and fructose. The significant advantage of palm sugar due to its low blood sugar index (35%) is the lack of effect of hyperglycemia.

4. Invert sugar

Invert sugar is produced by breaking down sucrose into constituent monosaccharides, fructose and dextrose. The inversion method is usually performed by heating sucrose syrup in the presence of acids, alkalis or invertases. The sugar content of invert sugar is derived from beet and sugarcane plants and mimics a profile such as the pure honey sugar profile. Invert sugar is widely used in beverages and food industries to make non-crystalline cream, jams, artificial honey and liquid sugar.

Invert beet syrup is one of the most well-known substances for honey cheating, which can be likened to natural sucrose (glucose-fructose) of honey, and because beet is a plant, it is usually difficult to distinguish. Invert sugar is generally accepted as a safe substance and has no toxic effects. It is recommended to be used with caution and in consultation with a physician in patients with diabetes mellitus as well as in patients with rare inherited problems of fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or sucrase-isomaltase deficiency.

5. Rice syrup

Rice Syrup, a plant-derived rice polysaccharide hydrolysis product (similar to beet syrup), is one of the most common ingredients for making Counterfeit honey in China Is.

Rice syrup contains three sugars: maltotriose (52%), maltose (45%) and glucose (3%). Because maltose is two molecules of glucose and maltotriose is three molecules of glucose, rice syrup acts like 100% glucose in the body. Counterfeit honey made with rice syrup has recently appeared on the honey market. Rice syrup follows the same cycle of Calvin fluorescence as natural honey.

6. Inulin syrup

Inulin is a naturally occurring polysaccharide that belongs to a group of fructans. These dietary fibers are a chain of fructose that binds to glucose at the end of the chain. The binding order of fructose molecules determines the type of fructan. For example, in the case of inulin, the β2-1 fructose chain with glucose is stopped. Common sources of this polysaccharide are wheat, onions, bananas, garlic, asparagus, sunflower and chicory.

References:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030881461631384X

https://actavet.vfu.cz/83/10/0085/references/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29433236/