Honey is a concentrated aqueous solution of sugar, especially glucose and fructose, and minor amounts of dextrin, enzymes, waxes, volatile oils, organic acids, ethers, albuminoidal gum substances and minerals. Commercially available honey samples vary in quality according to various factors such as climate diversity, type of flora of the surrounding region, geographical characteristics, processing, floral supply period, and packaging and storage conditions, which can compromise the standardization and quality of the final product. The different techniques that will be presented in this chapter to assess the quality of honey are tests required by identification standards and national and international quality control or are important quality tools that can be used in the evaluation of the conditions for obtaining and processing of the honey, fraud identification and changes to and/or adulteration of the honey, ensuring the physical and chemical composition of the project and guaranteeing quality standards, directly impacting the shelf life and use and presentation of the product.
Part of the book: Honey Analysis
Some filamentous fungi are able to grow in food and produce toxic metabolites. It occurs mainly in grains, cereals, oilseeds and some by-products. The growth of fungi in a particular food is governed largely by a series of physical and chemical parameters. The production of toxic metabolites is not confined to a single group of molds irrespective of whether they are grouped according to structure, ecology, or phylogenetic relationships. Mycotoxins can be carcinogenic and cause several harmful effects to both human and animal organisms, in addition to generating large economic losses. The major mycotoxins found in food are the aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxins, patulin, zearalenone, and trichothecenes, generally stable at high temperatures and long storage periods. Considering the difficult prevention and control, international organizations for food safety establish safe levels of these toxins in food destined for both human and animal consumption. Good agricultural practices and control of temperature and moisture during storage are factors which contribute significantly to inhibit the production of mycotoxins. The use of some fungistatic products, such as essential oils and antioxidants, as well as physical, mechanical, chemical, or thermal processing, represents important methods to have the concentration of mycotoxins reduced in food.
Part of the book: Cell Growth