Progress of Cryogenics and Isotopes Separation , ISSN: 1582-2575
2015, Volume 18, Issue 1

Evaluating the Origin of Honey by Stable Isotopes Ratio (C and N) Using Multivariate Statistical Analysis

Oana-Romina Dinca 1,2 , Roxana Elena Ionete 1 , Diana Costinel 1 , Raluca Popescu 1 , Marius Miricioiu 1,2 , Ioan Stefanescu 1 , Gabriel-Lucian Radu 2*

1 National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies - ICSI Rm. Valcea, Uzinei Street no. 4, PO Box Râureni 7, 240050, Râmnicu Vâlcea, Romania
2 Politehnica University of Bucharest, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, 1-7 Polizu Str., 011061, Bucharest, Romania

*Corresponding author: Gabriel-Lucian Radu, E-mail:

Published: May 2015


The specific compounds that provide specific particularities to each honey type give its value and unicity, reason for selecting the most appropriate and highly sensitive techniques when an authenticity study is considered. The main aim of the work is to demonstrate that the combination of isotopic ratios (13C/12C of honey and13C/12C and 15N/14N from protein fraction extracted from honey) with multivariate analysis, can be a reliable tool to differentiate the botanical origin of honey. A set of 35 honey samples of different floral varieties, from different parts of Romania, during year 2013, were included in the study. Processed by cluster analysis, principal component analysis and discriminant analysis, the data obtained by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) technique for δ13Choney, δ 13Cprotein and δ 15Nprotein allowed a good separation of the honey samples across different botanical varieties, enabling 97% correct classification for the generated model. Significant differences were observed among the honey samples, especially for δ15N ranging from -2.40‰ (multiflower honey) to +4.90‰ (acacia honey), that is strongly correlated with the area’s soil composition (different types of soil which fix the soluble nitrogen compounds better than other soil types), amount of precipitation, water stress and botanical origin (plants with the ability of fixing nitrogen from air). The degree of discrimination for the botanical origin of honey is explained by the strong correlation between the stable isotopes and the specific fingerprint of the plant-soil system provenance.


Authentication of botanical origin; Honey; Isotopic tracers/markers; Multivariate statistical analysis. 

Tag search Authentication of botanical origin Honey Isotopic tracersmarkers Multivariate statistical analysis