Chemical and Biological Investigation of Apiculture Products from Stingless Bees Heterotrigona itama
Heterotrigona itama is one of common stingless bee species in Malaysia. Similar to sting bee, stingless bee also produce honey, propolis and beebread in their hive. Propolis and beebread of Malaysian stingless bee were less explored compared to honey. This work examine nutritional content, antioxidant activity and chemical profiling of honey, propolis and beebread produced by stingless bee species Heterotrigona itama. Nutritional contents such as moisture content, ash, protein, fat and carbohydrate were measured. Antioxidant activity was determined using DPPH method; Folin-Ciocalteau method for total phenolic content (TPC) and Aluminium Chloride method for total flavonoid content (TFC). Chemical profiling was carried out by using thin layer chromatography (TLC) in solvent system of toluene: ethyl acetate: formic acid with ratio 8 : 2 : 0.1 v/v/v. The results revealed that honey possessed the highest moisture content and total carbohydrate with values of 30.67%±1.30 and 65.88%±1.70, respectively. Meanwhile, propolis contained the highest total fat (49.2% ± 5.31) which due to its compositions of wax and resin. Total protein and ash contents were abundant in beebread with values of 30.43%±0.40 and 3.28%±0.13, respectively. The highest total phenolic (70.64%±01.81 µg/mL) and flavonoid contents (31.75%±0.05 µg/mL) were found in propolis. Propolis also possessed the highest antioxidant activity with the lowest IC50 value of 5 µg/mL as comparable to positive control, Trolox (IC50 value: 3µg/mL). These results revealed that propolis is a good source of antioxidant as compared to honey and beebread. TLC analysis revealed that propolis also contained higher chemical compositions as compared to honey and beebread. This finding shows that stingless bee products have potential in therapeutic as strong natural antioxidant (propolis) and high in their nutritional content (honey and beebread).