Identification and classification of honey’s authenticity by attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and chemometric method

Muhamad Sahlan, Seffiani Karwita, Misri Gozan, Heri Hermansyah, Masafumi Yohda, Young Je Yoo, Diah Kartika Pratami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aim: The authentication of honey is important to protect industry and consumers from such adulterated honey. However, until now, there has been no guarantee of honey’s authenticity, especially in Indonesia. The classification of honey is based on the bee species (spp.) that produces it. The study used honey from sting bee Apis spp. and stingless bee Tetragonula spp. based on the fact that the content off honey produced between them has differences. Authenticating honey with currently available rapid detection methods, such as 13C nuclear magnetic resonance analysis, is costly. This study aimed to develop an inexpensive, fast, precise, and accurate classification method for authenticating honey. Materials and Methods: In this study, we use attenuated total reflectance Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy with wavelengths ranging between 550 and 4000 cm−1 as an alternative analysis method, which is relatively less expensive. The spectra of authentic and fake honey samples were obtained using ATR-FTIR and plotted using chemometric discriminant analysis. The authentic honey samples were acquired from a local Indonesian breeder of honey bees, while the fake honey samples were made from a mixture of water, sugar, sodium bicarbonate, and authentic honey. Data were collected using Thermo Scientific’s OMNIC FTIR software and processed using Thermo Scientific’s TQ Analyst software. Results: Our method effectively classified the honey as authentic or fraudulent based on the FTIR spectra. To authenticate the honey, we formed two classes: Real honey and fake honey. The wavelengths that can best differentiate between these two classes correspond to four regions: 1600-1700 cm−1; 1175-1540 cm−1; 940-1175 cm−1; and 700-940 cm−1. Similarly, for classification purpose, we formed two classes: Apis spp. and Tetragonula spp. The wavelength region that can best classify the samples as belonging to the Apis spp. or Tetragonula spp. class is explicitly within the range of 1600-1700 cm−1. Conclusion: This study successfully demonstrated a method to rapidly and accurately classify and authenticate honey. ATR-FTIR is a useful tool to test the authenticity of honey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1304-1310
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary World
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Apis spp
  • Attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared
  • Discriminant
  • Spectrum
  • Tetragonula spp


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