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Open Access Analysis of fatty acids, proteins and ethereal extract in honeybee pollen - Considerations of their floral origin

Chemical analysis was made of the ethereal extract, fatty acids, protein and sugars of corbicula pollen as these are specific characters selected by the honeybee from plant species as a source of pollen for the hive. This group of analyses was carried out using balls of monospecific pollen of the following individual taxa which represent more than 5% of the total pollen collected by the honeybee: Castanea sativa, Erica, Eucalyptus, Halimium alyssoides, Quercus robur, Raphanus raphanistrum, Rubus and Cytisus scoparius-type. The ethereal extract content was similar for the total pollen in all the hives. The percentage composition of fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated and their diversity allowed the relationship between fatty acids and plant species to be found, which contributed to the final content in the hives. In this way tridecanoic acid was related with Cytisus scoparius-type; palmitoleic acid with Castanea sativa, Erica, Eucalyptus and Quercus robur; behenic acid with Rubus and Raphanus raphanistrum; and isopalmitic acid with Rubus. Until now isopalmitic acid has not been cited in other studies as a component of honeybee pollen. The fatty acid content of pollen has also proved to be useful in determining geographical origin of this product. The pollen was found to be rich in essential fatty acids of interest for human nourishment. The protein content was high in hives and in the pollen of the individual taxa, varied between the 29.6% and 14%. The fructose content was higher than glucose. It was noticeable that pollen of Rubus was highest in glucose (21%) and Castanea sativa in fructose (26.3%). Water content of corbicula pollen was below 10%.

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratorio de Palinoloxía e Viticultura), Departamento de Bioloxía Vexetal e Ciencias do Solo 2: Departamento de Química Analítica e Alimentaria; Facultad de Ciencias de Ourense, Universidad de Vigo, 32004 Orense, Spain.

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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