Physicochemical Properties, Microbial Qualities and Antimicrobial Activities of Honeys from Kellem and West Wollega Zones, Western Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Honey is a natural substance synthesized by honey bees. Its physicochemical properties and biological composition differs among honey types. The aim of this study is, therefore, to determine the physicochemical and antioxidant properties, antimicrobial activities, microbial qualities and floral source of honeybee and stingless bee honeys collected from Kellem and West wollega zones of western Ethiopia. The physicochemical, antioxidant and pollen grain analysis of honey were determined using standard methods. Agar disc and well diffusion were used for antimicrobial susceptibility test while agar dilution was used to determine minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). A microbial quality was carried out by pour plate technique. Honey from Meliponulla beccarii L. (MBH) was found to be more acidic (pH 3.00 ±0.11) with high level of free acidity (113.1±18.43 meq/kg) and moisture (33.55±2.82%) content, but with lower concentration of reducing sugar (37.84±4.04%) compared to honey from Apis mellifera L. samples. There was no statistically significant (p > 0.05) difference in the total phenol, flavonoid and antioxidant content of honey obtained from Meliponulla beccarii L (MBH), Apis mellifera market honey (AMMH) and Apis mellifera L fresh honey (AMFH). The overall average and the highest diameter of inhibition zone (mm) against clinical and standard isolates of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi was recorded for MBH (15.71±2.78 mm) followed by AMFH (14.83±2.45 mm) and AMMH (10.51± 2.63 mm), while 25.16±2.50 mm for the positive control (chloramphenicol) by well diffusion method. On the other hand, the overall average inhibition zone (mm) recorded by disc diffusion from MBH, AMFH and AMMH were 10±1.21 mm, 9.04±1.67 mm and 7.62±1.32 mm, respectively against the tested bacterial pathogens. However, none of the honey samples inhibited Candida albicans. The overall mean of minimum inhibitory concentration (%) and minimum bactericidal concentration (%) against all the tested bacteria were 9.92 and 53.57 by MBH, 11.00 and 56.24 by AMFH, and 15.40 and 64.28 by AMMH, respectively. The highest Staphylococci (2.1 x 103cfu/g) and least spore forming bacteria (1.17 x 102 cfu/g) were counted from AMMH sample. MBH sample had the highest mean of 3.16 x 102 cfu/g by yeast and lowest mean of 1.0 x 102 cfu/g by mould, while AMFH sample became free of any microbial contamination. All types of honey samples were safe from Enterobacteriaceae and coliforms. Coffee arabica L., Plantago lanceolate L. and Guizotia scabra L. were the major floral sources of the tested honeys. Thus, Honey from the study area had good antioxidant, antibacterial and nutritional values.



Microbiological Qualities, Apis mellifera L, Meliponula beccarii L