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Classification of Chinese Honeys According to Their Floral Origins Using Elemental and Stable Isotopic Compositions



The objective of this study is to test the feasibility of multi-isotopic and elemental analyses combined with chemometric techniques for differentiating the botanical origins of major honey products in China. The stable isotope and elemental compositions of 57 honey samples from four major floral origins in China (i.e., rape honey, acacia honey, vitex honey, and jujube honey) were analyzed using stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), respectively. The results showed that hydrogen and oxygen isotopes could be more suitable than the carbon isotope for discriminating the floral origins of major honeys in China. There were significant differences in the contents of most elements between or among different floral origins. The combination of IRMS and ICP-MS methods provides the most effective and accurate approach (in most cases close to 100 accuracy) for classifying Chinese honeys according to their floral origins.

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