Progress of Cryogenics and Isotopes Separation , ISSN: 1582-2575
2014, Volume 17, Issue 2

IRMS Methods for Assessing the Quality and Origin of Honey Using δ13C and δ15N Isotopic Fingerprints

Diana Costinel * , Roxana Elena Ionete , Oana Romina Dinca , Raluca Popescu , Elisabeta-Irina Geana

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

*Corresponding author: Diana Costinel, E-mail:

Published: October 2014


Multi-isotope ratio analysis proved in the last decade its potential in authentication of raw material in different foodstuff (eg. wine, spirits, vinegar, juice fruit, and honey). Currently, consumer demand for high quality food is something usual, the botanical origin of the raw material being the one of the main traced parameters. Due to its natural origin and health properties, honey has a special status among consumers. For this reason to certify the floral origin or to detect the substitution or extension of the main components of honey i.e. water and sugar became a necessity. The aim of this study was to characterise and classify honeys of different floral varieties according to their botanical and geographical origin based on the signature of stable isotopes (carbon 13 and nitrogen 15). Since honey contains only small quantities of nitrogen, a special emphasis was given to the determination of nitrogen isotope ratio 15N/14N (expressed in δ15N) in honey protein. To obtain measurable amounts of this element, the honey protein was precipitated. The results showed that the stable isotope ratio of the bio-elements carbon and nitrogen in honey and honey protein, respectively, can be applied to verify the origin of honey.


Authentication, bio-elements, honey, stable isotopes.

Tag search Authentication bio-elements honey stable isotopes