Comparative Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Honey and Honeycomb Extracts Kang, Da Hee; Kim, Min Young;
Although many studies have described the physiological effects of bee products, such as honey, propolis, pollen, and royal jelly, the health benefits of honeycomb remain incompletely characterized. We performed a comparative study of the antioxidant properties of honey and honeycomb extracts using two different solvents (water and 95% ethanol). The results showed that the total phenolic and flavonoid content of the honeycomb extract was higher than that of the honey extract. They also demonstrated that water was more effective than ethanol in extracting total phenols. The in vitro antioxidant properties of the water honeycomb extract were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and nitric oxide (NO•) radical scavenging assays and ferrous ion chelating and reducing power assays. The antioxidant activity of the honeycomb extract exhibited was higher than that of the honey extract. The 50% effective concentrations (EC50) of the honeycomb extract were 7.3±0.26 mg/ml for scavenging DPPH radicals, 6.1±0.22 mg/ml for scavenging NO• radicals, 6.9±0.44 mg/ml for chelating ferrous ions, and 8.2±0.11 mg/ml for reducing power. A correlation analysis revealed that the total phenolics and flavonoids of the honeycomb extract were the major contributors to the radical scavenging activity, ferrous ion chelating, and reducing power. The honeycomb extract was effective in protecting biological systems against various oxidative stresses in vitro. This is the first report on the antioxidant properties of honeycomb.