Honey chemical composition is related to the plant species where nectar is collected by honeybees. Chilean beekeeping is characterized by a variety of honey types, some unique, due to a high participation of endemic and native species. In Chile, the most emblematic flower honey, both for its abundance and sensory characteristics, is ulmo honey (Eucriphya cordifolia) and quillay honey (Quillaja saponaria). Melissopalynological analyses are used to establish whether a honey is unifloral, where at least 45% or more pollen grains found in it belong to the same species. The antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of Chilean honey have been studied in the last years with excellent results. Quillaja saponaria, Eucriphya cordifolia, Azara petiolaris, and Retanilla trinervia are within the Chilean endemic species that produce unifloral honeys that show antioxidant potential and antibacterial activity against pathogenic gram positive and gram -negative bacteria and also multiresistant strains. These activities are mainly attributed to the phenolic compounds such as flavonoids. Among these attractive characteristics of honey, it is important to note that this product has low toxicity and the medicinal properties of honey will help to protect honeybees by adding value not only to the significantly important process of pollinating crops and native plants, but also for the medicinal importance of their products.
Part of the book: Honey Analysis