Pollen Characterisation of Maltese Honey

Authors: Claudette Gambin, Edwin Lanfranco, David Mifsud

Corresponding: Claudette Gambin (claudette.gambin@gov.mt)

Keywords: Pollen, Honey, Melissopalynology

Doi: http://dx.medra.org/10.7423/XJENZA.2013.2.05

Issue: Xjenza Online Vol. 1 Iss. 2 - October 2013

In 2004 and 2005, pollen characterisation of 35 samples of honey collected from the islands of Malta and Gozo, was carried out with the aim to identify the botanical origin of honey produced on these islands. Pollen was extracted from the honey samples via centrifugation and identi ed to pollen type, generic level and where possible, speci c level via microscopic analysis. This was done by comparison with available literature and with the aid of prepared reference slides of pollen collected from the plant species commonly present in the Maltese islands. A total of 61 pollen types were identi ed from 33 families. The best represented families were the Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Fabaceae and Apiaceae. Thyme (Thymbra capitata (L.) CAV.) pollen was found to be predominant in ten samples, with a percentage frequency that ranged from 10% to 67%. Hedysarum coronarium L. was found to be predominant in ve honey samples with percentage frequencies from 48% to 78% while Lotus spp. pollen was found to be predominant in one honey sample with a percentage frequency of 57%. The remaining 14 honey samples possessed pollen spectra which were characterized by a few frequent pollen types that possessed similar percentage frequencies and were thus considered to be multi oral. This is the rst work of pollen characterisation of Maltese honey.

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