Honey pollen analysis
GNS Science offers pollen analytical services by experts. Isotope analyses for detection of C4 sugar adulteration are also available.
Analysis of the pollen content of honey has long been used to investigate provenance and provide a quantitative measure of floral origin (e.g. manuka pollen percentage) for use in commerce. We provide services to major New Zealand producers.
Download flyer: honey_analyses_flyer.pdf (353.27 kB)
To fully characterize pollen content, not only the botanical species present but their relative abundance and concentration should be identified. This is critical when honeys with different pollen profiles are blended, so that a blend has a predictable percentage of characteristic pollen. Accurate measurement depends on close attention to technical details.
To provide suitable statistical precision, relative percent abundances are based on a total count of at least 500 pollen grains, and standard deviation limits calculated. Pollen of nectarless plants (e.g. grass) and of honeydew elements are excluded from the total, and their relative abundance expressed as percentages of the total of nectar-bearing plant pollen.
Absolute concentration is expressed as pollen grains per 10 g of honey, and is derived from volumetric data.
For further technical information, see our poster: Quantitative pollen analysis of New Zealand honey. poster.pdf (1.30 MB)
- Quality control - GNS Science has developed a pollen analysis technique based on standard European methods. Results are provided as a standard report listing main pollen components, their percentages, statistical accuracy, and total pollen concentration [sample report: standard_report.pdf (93.37 kB) ]. For small sample batches, results turn-around is generally one week. Urgent samples and larger batch runs can also be accommodated.
- Authentication and research - These draw on forensic expertise developed at GNS Science over many years, including identification of honeys of foreign origin. We have extensive reference collections of honeys and pollen for comparison.
- Extension services - We offer advice and ongoing quality control for honey industry laboratories.
Contact us for more information or to discuss your project.