Location: Quality & Safety Assessment ResearchTitle: Sensing the water content of honey from temperature-dependent electrical conductivity Author
Submitted to: Measurement Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2011
Publication Date: 7/7/2011
Citation: Wenchuan, G., Liu, Y., Zhu, X., Zhuang, H. 2011. Sensing the water content of honey from temperature-dependent electrical conductivity. Measurement Science and Technology. 22:085706. Interpretive Summary: Honey is an important ingredient for many popular food products and provides human being with nutritional benefits. However, honey adulteration is a common phenomenon, especially in certain areas of the world, and can result in health problems to the consumers who rely on nutrients from honey products. Water is the most common ingredient for honey adulterations. It has been shown that electrical conductivity of honey can be greatly influenced by its water content and temperature. The objective of our study was to investigate the potentials to use electrical conductivity to predict water contents in honey at various temperatures. Our results show that water content and temperature significantly affect electrical conductivity of honey. There are close relationships between water content and electrical conductivity, and between temperature and electrical conductivity in honey. The electrical conductivity of honey can be very well predicted by the mathematic model composed by water content and temperature regardless of blossom honey type. These results suggest that electrical conductivity property of honey could be used to develop a detector for rapidly predicting water content in blossom honey.
Technical Abstract: In order to predict water content in honey, electrical conductivity was measured on blossom honey types of milk-vetch, jujube and yellow-locust with water content of 18%-37% between 5-40ºC. Regression models of electrical conductivity were developed as functions of water content and temperature. The results showed that increases in either water content or temperature resulted in increases in electrical conductivity of honey with greater changes at higher water content and/or higher temperature. The linear terms of water content and temperature, quadratic term of water content and interaction of water content and temperature had significant influences on honey electrical conductivity (p<0.0001). Regardless of blossom honey types, the linear coefficient of determination of measured and predicated electrical conductivities was 0.998 and range error ratio was larger than 100. These results suggest that electrical conductivity property of honey might be used to develop a detector for rapidly predicting water content in blossom honey.