The Codex Alimentarius (World Health Organization, F.A.O. programme) defines honey as “the natural sweet substance produced by bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or secretions of plant-sucking insects on the living parts of the plants, which the bees collect, transform and combine with specific substances of their own, store and leave in honeycombs to mature and ripen.”
It also states that the apparent reducing sugar content, calculated as invert sugar, must be at least 65% in blossom honey or nectar honey, and 60% in honeydew honey. As to moisture content, it must not exceed 21% except on heather or clover monofloras, where up to 23% is acceptable. There exist other parameters (apparent sucrose content, water-insoluble solids content, minerals content, acidity, diastase activity, hydroxymethylfurfurol content) which values are usually determined by industry demand rather than by written rules.
Regarding its floral source, the argentine beeshoney is polyflora, i.e. coming from different wild flowers as: clover, alfalfa, thistle, lotus, melilotus, and sunflower.
For the export market , the honey is clasified per colour measured in millimeters. The instruments used to make the reading is the Pfund colormeter. The colour scale is the following regarding its floral source:
• Water White 1 to 8
• Extra White 8 to 16.5
• White 16.5 to 34
• Extra light amber 34 to 50
• Light amber 50 to 85
• Amber 85 to 114 Dark 114 and more
Our country takes an outstanding role in the world market of this product, not only because of the quantity (it was first in global exports ranking for several years), but also for its quality.
The organoleptic characteristics of our honeys are very attractive to buyers of main markets worldwide.