Physicochemical characterization and determination of metals in Apis mellifera L. honey produced in a region contaminated by lead



Beekeeping, quality control, ICP OES, environmental contamination


The aim of our study was to evaluate the quality of Apis mellifera L. honey produced in a region with a history of lead contamination for more than 30 years. The physicochemical parameters were evaluated following the official methods of chemical analyses. Metal concentrations in samples were determined using the Inductively Coupled Plasma/Optical Emission Spectrometry technique. The samples presented a statistically significant difference. Regarding the physicochemical parameters, metal levels in all samples complied with standards established by the current legislation in Brazil. Most metals evaluated (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Pb and Zn) were detected in the samples. Only Al showed concentrations below the detection limit in all samples. Among the metals evaluated, only Cr showed concentrations in all samples above the threshold established by the legislation. The honey evaluated complied with the quality requirements for the physicochemical parameters. The metals determined and quantified presented concentrations in accordance with limits established by Brazilian and international legislations, except for chromium.