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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Kochansky, Jan

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2006
Publication Date: 2/24/2006
Citation: Kochansky, J.P. 2006. Stability of tylosin in honey at elevated temperatures. Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World. 45(2):32-36

Interpretive Summary: American foulbrood is a devastating disease of immature bees and FDA has approved a new antibiotic to control it. Since small amounts of this antibiotic might end up in honey, we examined the stability of this antibiotic in honey at elevated temperatures to determine if levels can be artificially decreased by heat. The tylosin decomposed more rapidly at higher temperatures, but so did the honey. Storage at elevated temperatures is thus not a useful method of tylosin reduction in honey. This information is of interest to beekeepers, honey packers, and regulatory agencies.

Technical Abstract: Honey containing tylosin has been studied to determine the stability of this antibiotic over time at various temperatures. Tylosin and desmycosin, a hydrolysis product, were isolated from diluted honey samples by solid-phase extraction followed by high performance liquid chromatography. Tylosin converted to desmycosin exponentially with half-lives of about 102 days at 34'C, 9 days at 50', 9 hours at 80', and 48 minutes at 110'. The desmycosin then decayed to unknown products. The sum of tylosin and desmycosin also decayed exponentially, with half-lives of 3-5 times the tylosin half life at that temperature. The honey used in this study itself deteriorated at these temperatures and times, darkening in color and eventually acquiring insoluble material which required filtration to enable the analysis. Therefore, storage of honey containing tylosin at elevated temperatures is not a feasible method of reducing levels of any tylosin that might be present.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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