Metabolomics Strategies in Research of Honey Bee Products

A special issue of Metabolites (ISSN 2218-1989). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Metabolomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2024 | Viewed by 3829

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
Interests: gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; chemical profiles and biomarkers of unifloral honeys; identification of potential markers of botanical origin; application of extraction methodologies; antioxidant activity

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Guest Editor
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università degli studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Interests: food chemistry and analysis; natural bioactive compounds; antioxidants; phenolic compounds; beehive products; analytical chemistry; validation of analytical methods; extraction techniques; liquid-chromatography; gas-chromatography; hyphenated methods; chemometrics and data analysis; agro-food quality control; by-product valorization
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Department of Pharmacognosy and Herbal Medicines, Faculty of Pharmacy, Wroclaw Medical University, ul. Borowska 211a, 50-556 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, bee products, food chemistry, liquid-chromatography, gas-chromatography, mass spectrometry, chemometrics

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, Svetošimunska Cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: honey analytics; nectar flow plants; honey bee biology

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Science, University of Split, 21000 Split, Croatia
Interests: quaternary ammonium salts; cationic surfactants; heterocyclic oximes; spectroscopy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Honey bee products, such as honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis, are known for their nutritional and health-promoting properties, and are rich in primary and secondary metabolites. Metabolomic strategies in honey bee products research can make an important contribution to the authenticity assessment, quality control, determination, and traceability of the origins of honey bee products. The determination of chemical profiles, including targeted and untargeted metabolomics approaches, and the identification of the specific metabolites of different honey bee products can significantly contribute to their characterization, as well as facilitating the detection of adulteration. Furthermore, the application of a metabolomic approach can be an efficient strategy for the discovery of bioactive natural compounds in honey bee products, thus providing valuable insights and better understandings of the biological activity of these substances, which are characterized by a complex chemical composition. This Special Issue focuses on the determination of metabolites and their presence in different bee products, as well as their possible biosynthetic/metabolic correlations. The objective of this Special Issue, entitled “Metabolomics Strategies in Research of Honey Bee products”, is to present the latest research findings regarding the metabolic profiling of honey bee products based on spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques, such as high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and gas (GC), liquid (LC), ultrahigh-pressure liquid (UPLC), and high-performance liquid (HPLC) chromatography. This includes the identification of marker compounds and bioactive compounds, data analysis (data mining/extraction, statistical analysis), the assessment of the bioactive potential of honey bee products and the effects of consumption on metabolic perturbations in humans, as well as other characteristics and effects of bee products revealed by a variety of metabolomic approaches.

Dr. Marina Kranjac
Prof. Dr. Carlo I.G. Tuberoso
Dr. Piotr Marek Kuś
Dr. Saša Prđun
Dr. Renata Odžak
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • honey bee products
  • chemical profiles
  • targeted metabolomics
  • untargeted metabolomics
  • biomarkers
  • authenticity assessment
  • bioactive compounds
  • bioactive potential
  • metabolic perturbations

Published Papers (1 paper)

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18 pages, 1746 KiB  
Unexpected Value of Honey Color for Prediction of a Non-Enzymatic H2O2 Production and Honey Antibacterial Activity: A Perspective
by Katrina Brudzynski
Metabolites 2023, 13(4), 526; - 6 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2659
Hydrogen peroxide is the principal antibacterial compound of honey and its concentration determines honey bacteriostatic (MIC) and bactericidal (MBC) potencies. Levels of H2O2 produced are highly relevant to honey therapeutic potential, but they vary extensively among honey with reasons not [...] Read more.
Hydrogen peroxide is the principal antibacterial compound of honey and its concentration determines honey bacteriostatic (MIC) and bactericidal (MBC) potencies. Levels of H2O2 produced are highly relevant to honey therapeutic potential, but they vary extensively among honey with reasons not immediately apparent. According to a traditional view, H2O2 is produced as a by-product of glucose oxidation by the honey bee enzyme, glucose oxidase; however, significant levels of H2O2 could be produced in a non-enzymatic way via polyphenol autooxidation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential for such an alternative pathway by re-examining evidence from many experimental and correlative studies in order to identify factors and compounds required for pro-oxidant activity. Unexpectedly, the color intensity was found to be the main indicator separating honey varieties based on the quantitative differences in the polyphenolic content, antioxidant activity and the content of transition metals, Fe, Cu and Mn, the main factors required for pro-oxidant effects. The color-impeding polyphenolics and their oxidation products (semiquinones and quinones) further contributed to color development through multiple chemical conjugations with proteins, phenolic oxidative polymerization, chelation or the reduction of metal ions. Moreover, quinones, as an intrinsic part of polyphenol redox activity, play an active role in the formation of higher-order structures, melanoidins and colloids in honey. The latter structures are also known to chelate metal ions, potentially contributing to H2O2 production. Thus, the color intensity appears as a major parameter that integrates polyphenol-dependent pro-oxidant reactions resulting in H2O2 generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics Strategies in Research of Honey Bee Products)
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