Validation of honey-bee smelling profile by using a commercial electronic nose
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Honey is a natural sweetener and its quality labels are associated to its botanical or geographical origin, which is being established by palynological and sensorial analysis. The use of fast and non-invasive techniques such as an electronic nose can become an alternative for honey classification. In this study, the operational parameters of a commercial electronic nose were validated to determine the honey odor profile. A central composite design with five factors, three levels and 28 assays was used, varying sample amounts (1, 2 and 3 g), incubation temperature (30, 40 and 50 degrees C), incubation time 30 min), gas flow (50, 150 and 250 mL/min) and injection time (100, 200 and 300 s). The commercial nose had ten sensors. Repeatability was evaluated with a coefficient of variation of 10 %. The response surface methodology was used and the optimal operating conditions were: 3 g of sample, incubation at 50 degrees C for 17 min, gas flow of 100 mL/min and sampling time of 150 s. Finally, these parameters were used to analyze 19 samples of honey, which were classified according to their odor profiles, showing that it can be a useful tool to classify honey.