Carbohydrate analysis of Western Canadian honeys and their nectar sources to determine the origin of honey oligosaccharides
Nicholas H. Low, Donald L. Nelson And Peter Sporns
Nectar and honey samples from alfalfa, alsike, canola, red clover, sweet clover and trefoil were examined for monosaccharides (glucose and fructose) and oligosaccharides. Other than sucrose in all the nectars except canola nectar, and a minute amount of maltose in alsike nectar, no oligosaccharides were found in any nectar sample. It was shown that the oligosaccharides that were found in the honey samples were present in similar amounts and seemed to originate from the enzyme activity of (a- and b-glucosidase. Many of the oligosaccharides found in honey could be formed by addition of isolated honey (a- and b-glucosidase to a nectar-like carbohydrate solution. Examination of honey samples from Apis dorsata, Apis cerana and Apis florae illustrated that the oligosaccharide patterns were very similar to those found in the Apis mellifera honey samples.