Quality Evaluation Of Artisanally Produced Honey Sold On Ghanaian Markets


Honey is the most commercialized bee product in Ghana. It is utilized by all age groups and religious bodies with increasing demand. However, the production, packaging and handling has been associated with unsanitary and unhygienic practices with scanty documented information on production practices. Most of the artisanal honey are also mainly retailed in places where environmental conditions and handling practices do not meet fundamental food hygiene standards. This study sought to evaluate the quality of artisanally produced honey sold on Ghanaian markets. The study consisted of two parts: field surveys and laboratory experimentation. Three different surveys (on producers, sellers and consumers) were conducted to collect information on the artisanal production, selling and consumption pattern of artisanally produced honey in Ghana. Samples of artisanally produced honey were procured from some producers and consumer markets in the survey locations for microbial quality, antimicrobial activity and physicochemical analysis to authenticate their quality.

The surveys revealed that apiary and forest honey were the major honey types artisanally produced and sold on the Ghanaian markets. Smoking and/or applying of fire and straining of honey during production were identified critical for desired quality of the final honey product. Majority of the producers, as well as the sellers, package, store and sell honey in recycled packaging materials. Honey adulteration was perceived by the producers, sellers and consumers in the honey value chain. Taste, thickness and flavour were important indices of quality for the sellers and consumers. The survey data showed that the artisanal honey producers’ formal educational status (p = 0.026) and major occupation (p = 0.000) were significantly associated with how honey quality was


controlled during production. Most (87 %) of the artisanal honey producers were subsistence farmers and majority (67 %) had only basic education. However, honey production was a secondary occupation for all.

All the artisanal honey recorded counts for total mesophilic bacteria (3 ± 1 log10CFU/g), however, approximately 13 % of the artisanal honey had total mesophilic bacteria counts higher than the established maximum limit (4.00 log10 CFU/g). The rate of detection of Salmonella was high among 19 % of the artisanal honey samples. Nevertheless, total coliform, faecal coliform and Escherichia coli were not detected in the artisanal honey. All the artisanal honey exhibited high inhibition to Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Significant (p = 0.00) variations occurred in the physicochemical parameters of the artisanal honey. Majority of the artisanal honey were dark amber (264 ± 59 mm) indicative of presence of higher levels of polyphenols and mineral contents. They had low pH (4.5 ± 0.5) and showed some level of temperature abuse (with mean Hydroxymethylfurfural = 17 ± 6 mg/kg). Most of the artisanal honey had high water activity (0.63 ± 0.03) and were produced from nectar without mixture compounds of honeydews and nectar blossom with mean electrical conductivity value of 0.4 ± 0.4 mS/cm. All the artisanal honey varied from Grade A to D with majority being Grade B (with mean moisture content of 19 ± 2 %). Improvements in hygienic production and post-production handling of artisanal honey as well as proper and hygienic packaging before selling is recommended.

Key words: Artisanal honey, Antimicrobial activity, Microbiological and physicochemical characteristics of honey, honey production, selling and consumption.

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DZIDZORGBE, A (2021). Quality Evaluation Of Artisanally Produced Honey Sold On Ghanaian Markets. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/quality-evaluation-of-artisanally-produced-honey-sold-on-ghanaian-markets

MLA 8th

DZIDZORGBE, AKPABLI-TSIGBE "Quality Evaluation Of Artisanally Produced Honey Sold On Ghanaian Markets" Afribary. Afribary, 19 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/quality-evaluation-of-artisanally-produced-honey-sold-on-ghanaian-markets. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.


DZIDZORGBE, AKPABLI-TSIGBE . "Quality Evaluation Of Artisanally Produced Honey Sold On Ghanaian Markets". Afribary, Afribary, 19 Apr. 2021. Web. 14 Jun. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/quality-evaluation-of-artisanally-produced-honey-sold-on-ghanaian-markets >.


DZIDZORGBE, AKPABLI-TSIGBE . "Quality Evaluation Of Artisanally Produced Honey Sold On Ghanaian Markets" Afribary (2021). Accessed June 14, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/quality-evaluation-of-artisanally-produced-honey-sold-on-ghanaian-markets