Espectroscopia UV e Imagens Digitais para Estimar a Capacidade Antioxidante e o Conteúdo de Prolina em Méis de Abelhas Nativas

UV Spectroscopy and Digital Image to Estimate the Antioxidant Capacity and Proline Content of Honeys Produced by Native Bees




The honey produced by the stingless bees has been used by indigenous communities in Brazil as a
nutritional and medicinal source. In accordance with this traditional knowledge, anti-inflammatory,
antiviral, healing, and antioxidant properties have been recently described for this natural product.
Despite its widely use, there is no specific quality control regulation for this peculiar honey; therefore,
its quality is verified by taking into consideration the parameters already standardized to the honey
produced by Apis mellifera bees. Among other parameters, antioxidant activity, phenolic and proline
contents are tested for quality control following analytical protocols via spectrophotometric methods.
Although simple, these methods involve several steps and the use of organic reagents and solvents, then
causing some analyst exposure and environmental impact. Looking for environment-friendly methods to
estimate important parameters for the quality control of honeys, in the current research, we investigated
the application of multivariate calibration models to indirectly estimate the antioxidant capacity and
total amino acid content of honeys produced by stingless bees. Then, partial least squares regression
(PLS) was applied to UV spectra and digital images of honeys as predictive variables to predict the
target properties. The PLS models showed coefficients of calibration and prediction R2 > 0.7 and errors
of the same magnitude in both the calibration and validation sets of honey samples, indicating that
PLS models are robust and have a good prediction capacity of the study properties. In other words, it
is possible to predict accurately the antioxidant capacity and proline content of honeys produced by
stingless bees by a simple acquisition of a UV spectrum or a digital photo. Additionally, the information
reported in this paper on the antioxidant capacity and proline content of stingless bee honey contributes
to the knowledge of the properties of this honey and supports the need to develop adequate technical
regulation for this type of honey.