Honey is a sweet viscous substance that has been used all over the worldfor centuries. It is well known as a sweetenerand has recently become more popular due to its biological factors. According to Alqarni, Owayss& Mahmoud (2012) “honey is a natural food, mainly composed of sugarsand other constituents such as enzymes, amino acids, organic acids,carotenoids, vitamins, minerals and aromatic substances. It is rich inflavonoids and phenolic acids that exhibit a wide range of biological effectsand act as natural antioxidants.
” In this paper I will review honey under the following topics: Bioactive Factors,Antioxidants, antibacterial properties, Bioactive Factors. Bioactive compounds are components of food that influence physiologicalor cellular activities in the humans and animals that consume them (Wang, et al., 2016). Bioactive foodcompounds tend to have several positive influences on health.
Bioactive compoundsare generally found in plant based foods. Bioacitive foods contain activeenzymes that are necessary for digestion. Bioactive factors include foodsacting as antioxidants and having antibacterial properties.Antioxidant activityThe antioxidants present in honey come from sources such as vitamin c,phenols and flavonoids. Along with containing these compounds honey alsocontains several enzymes that act as antioxidants including glucose oxidase,catalase and others carotenoid derivatives, organic acids, malliard reactionproducts and proteins * (Beretta G, 2007).Antioxidanst are particularly important in the diet as they fight off freeradicals in the body. A free radical is a molecular species that is capable of independent existence thatcontains an unpaired electron in an atomic orbital * (V Lobo, 2010).
Macromolecules inthe body are attacked by free radicals leading to cell damage, healthy cellsendure oxidative stress when attacked by free radicals. Antioxidants neutralizethe free radicals and therefore prevents damage to cells in the body. Antioxidantshave free radical scavenging properties, they safely interact with freeradicals and terminate the chain reaction before vital molecules are damaged.
(V. lobo, 2010). Research show that differenttypes of honey contains different amounts of antioxidants. In a study done by MohamedAl- Mamary, Ali Al-Merri and Molham Al-Habori results showed that antioxidantactivity differed depending on the source and the level of honey added to the system. Thesediscrepancies can be caused by differneces in botanical sources of honey andalso the presence of different compounds of antioxidants. (Al-Mamary, 2002).
Colour of the honey also plays a rolein determining the antioxidant properties of the honey, the darker the honeythe greater the antioxidant levels of the honey. Phenolic acid and phenols have high natural antioxidant properties. Phenoliccompounds present in honey include quercetin, caffeic acid phenethyl ester(CAPE) and acacetin.
(Sulaiman, 2010) . Studies show thatregular polyphenol intake is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovasculardisease. (Middelton E, 2000). It is thought thatflavonoids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in three ways: (1) improvingcoronary vasodilation, (2) decreasing the ability of platelets in the blood toclot and (3) preventing low density lipoproteins from oxidising.( (Castillo, 2008) cited by (Sulaiman, 2010)). Experiments by (Beretta G, 2007) showed that phenolicacids and flavonoids in honey reduced the risks of acute and chronic freeradical induced illnesses. In 1986 34,492 postmenopausal women were examined orthe association of flavonoid intake with coronary heart disease mortality, theresults showed that flavonoid intake may reduce the risk of death from CHD inpost menopause women (Sulaiman, 2010). Honey polyphenolsincluding flavonoids such as quercetin caffeic acid phenethyl ester and acacetinhave a positive pharmacological role in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
(Sulaiman, 2010) Antibacterial properties Honey has been used around the world as an antibacterial substance forcenturies. for hundreds of years it has been used for treatment of wounds andprevention of infections. Honey is used in many homes around the countryespecially locally sourced Manuka honey. It is used to treat colds and flus andcoughs. The high sugar concentration, hydrogen peroxide and the low pH give thehoney antibacterial properties.
(Paulus H, 2012). Manuka honey and revamil honey havethe greatest antibacterical properties and are the honeys currently approvedfor clinical use. (Paulus H, 2012). Honey is made up of80% sugars, mainly glucose and fructose and it contains less than 18% water. Thishigh concentration of sugar and low water content is sufficient to retain theantibacterial activity of honey when diluted by 30-40%. Hydrogen peroxide has been identified as a majorantibacterial compound in honey (Adcock, 1962) (Schepartz, 1963) (Molan, 1992). Glucose oxidaseconverts the glucose in honey to H2O2 and gluconic acid. Theglucose oxidase is activated on dilution of honey and it acts under aerobicconditions, when inactivated by heat or light the glucose oxidase affects theamount of H2O2 in honey.
(Subers, 1964). In 2001 moore et al showed the efficiency of honey for treating burnwounds, honey was more effective than conventional burn treatment methods formild superficial and partial thickness burns. The honey reduced microbial colonizationand improved wound healing. Whether or not the honey has been processed and filtered effects the levelof antibacterial properties in honey. An experiment done by (Sudha, et al., 2016) unprocessed,filtered and processed honeys were tested for their effectiveness againstseveral bacteria including S.
aureus, Vcholera and B. cereus. Ampicillinwas used as a positive control. A well of diameter 8mm was made in the agarplates that the honey samples were added to. The diameter of zone of inhibitionwas used for quantification of the antibacterial properties.
This value wassubtracted from the diameter (ie 8mm) to reflect the actual effectiveness of thehoney in preventing bacterial growth. The first image below shows the three differenttypes of honey added to the different bacteria along with the control. Thesecond image shows the differences in the growth inhibition pattern of theunprocessed, filtered and processed honey against the various baterica. This experiment carried out by (Sudha, et al., 2016) showed that unprocessedhoney has stronger antibacterial activity against the bacteria used in theexperiment, except for E. coli.
The experimentconcluded that commercial honey that undergoes processing causes a substantialdecrease in the antibacterial properties of honey. This shows that rawunprocessed honey is the best for positive health effects. Propolis Propolis is a food with bioactive properties but is not accepted byconsumers due to its bitter, unpleasant flavour. (Oses, et al., 2016).
Propolis contains a higher amount of phenoliccompounds than honey and has greater antibacterial and antioxidant properties. (Banskots, et al., 2001) (Meda, et al., 2005) (Socha, et al., 2015). Propolis is currentlyused in sweets and as a natural preservative in some foods, however due to itsstrong bitter taste consumers aren’t accepting of foods with a high propoliscontent.
Therefore the propolis concentration added to the food should becarefully monitored so as not to negatively alter the taste of the foods. (Oses, et al., 2016). There is honey availableto the consumer containing up to 3% propolis.
In a study done by (Oses, et al., 2016) As a result propiliswith honey makes for a a food with high bioactive properties as the totalphenolic content increased.