Determination of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) in honey

What you need to know about the determination of HMF in honey?

HMF (5-hydroxymethylfurfural) is a compound formed during heat treatment applied to food.

As the processing and bottling of honey requires heating, the determination of HMF in honey is considered necessary to evaluate its quality.

Generally, HMF is not present in fresh honey – its content increases during processing and storage. Its formation is related to the physicochemical characteristics of honey such as pH, water activity, free acidity, total acidity, lactone, and mineral content, which in turn are related to the botanical origin of honey.

The statutory HMF content in honey is generally set at 40 mg/kg, with the exception of honey for bakery use (80 mg/kg).

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