Correlation Between the Color Lightness and Sweetness of Stingless Bee Honey with Its Minerals Content
The colour and the sweetness of honey are the main characteristics refers by consumers when buying honey for their consumption. Consumers always believe that the darker the colour and the sweeter the taste, the better the quality of honey. This study aims to investigate the correlation of colour lightness and the sweetness of stingless bee honey with its mineral contents. Honey samples were collected from seven beehives around Terengganu, Malaysia. All samples have different colours and tastes. The colour of honey was measured based on CIELAB colour system using a reflectance spectrometry and the sweetness of honey is measured using a refractometer. ICP-OES is used to analyze mineral elements present in the honey samples. We found that the lighter the colour of honey, the less sweet it is (r= -0.77). The results obtained also shows that the lighter the colour of honey, the higher the amount of potassium (r= -0.94) and phosphorus (r= -0.94) in honey. Meanwhile, the sweeter the honey, the higher the amount of potassium (r= 0.87), sodium (r= 0.85) and phosphorus (r= 0.82). Our findings prove that the colour and sweetness of honey can only be used to estimate the certain nutritive value of honey. Even though these findings still cannot fully uncover the myth of honey; consumers still can depend on these characteristics to choose the best honey for their own consumption.