Al-Bahir Journal for Engineering and Pure Sciences


Honey is a sweet substance that has been valued by humans for its taste and health benefits. It is produced by honey bees from the sugary secretions of plants. However, other insects, such as aphids and wasps, also produce honey-like substances. This study aimed to compare the physical and biochemical properties of honey produced by honey bees, aphids, and wasps in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. To achieve this, samples of honey, bitter honey, honeydew, and wasp honey were collected and examined. The samples were analyzed for total sugar, sucrose, water, Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), acidity, total acidity, diastase activity, total phenolic content (TPC), antioxidant activity (DPPH), and elements present. The tests applied were based on the international standard methods for honey analysis, Folin-Ciocalteu test for total phenols, DPPH radical scavenging test, and elemental analysis by ICP-OES. The study found that the physical and biochemical properties of honey produced by aphids and wasps were similar to those of honey produced by bees, with differences in total sugar, sucrose, water, HMF, acidity, total acidity, and diastase activity. Significant differences were found in TPC and antioxidant activities for most of the samples. However, the amounts of different elements present in the samples varied, with wasp honey containing high concentrations of Al, Mg, Fe, Mn, V, Ti, and Sr and being the only sample to contain vanadium. Overall, the results of this study suggest that honey samples produced by aphids and wasps were close to the specifications of bee honey and within accepted standards. However, when compared to bee honey, a significant difference was found in the total TPC and DPPH values. Honey is regarded as a necessary economic component and a healthy food, and this study contributes to our understanding of the properties of different types of honey.