DoST warns adulterated honey is harmful to health

Researchers from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DoST-PNRI) found that about 80 percent of honey products sold in groceries, souvenir shops and online platforms are not pure honey.

This was revealed using the nuclear-based tests showing honey products contain syrups made from sugar cane and corn. This fraudulent practice allows manufacturers to increase the volume of their products while reducing the production costs.

DoST-PNRI Director Dr. Angel Bautista 7th explained that 12 out of 16 or 75 percent of local honey brands sold in the market are not entirely honey. In addition, a staggering 87 percent or 64 out of 74 of local honey products sold online are impure. Meanwhile, none of the 41 imported honey products marketed in local stores were found to be adulterated.

The problem is that people are being tricked. You may be buying honey for its wonderful health benefits, but because of adulteration, you may actually just be buying pure sugar syrup. Consuming too much pure sugar syrup can lead to harmful health effects,” Bautista rremarked.

The DOST-PNRI researchers came up with these surprising, sobering findings through the stable carbon isotope ratio analysis.

This type of analysis allows researchers to see isotopes elements with same number of electrons and protons but different number of neutrons which can give clues on the origin of the substance.

Joining Bautista in this study were Marco Lao and Norman DS. Mendoza, also from DoST-PNRI and Dr. Cleofas Cervancia, a retired professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) who previously led its Bee Program.

The study was presented in the Philippine Nuclear Research and Development Conference held online during the Atomic Energy Week on December 9.

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