Journal of Apicultural Science

Long-chain fatty acids composition of honeybee-collected pollen

Journal of Apicultural Science. Volume 50, Issue 2, Pages 65-79, ISSN (Print) 1643-4439
The presented study was aimed at determining the composition of long-chain fatty acids of honeybee-collected pollen obtained from several countries (Poland, South Korea and China). A total of 27 samples of bee pollen were examined in the study. Samples of Polish pollen were subjected to melissopalynological analyses to determine their botanical origin, whereas Korean and Chinese samples were classified as multifloral pollen. The collected experimental material was analyzed for contents of dry matter, lipid fraction and long-chain fatty acids. Investigations of long-chain fatty acids were carried out with the gas chromatography method (GC-FID).
The chromatographic analyses identified the following long-chain fatty acids in the samples of honeybee-collected pollen: myristic (C14:0), palmitic (C16:0), stearic (C18:0), oleic (C18:1), linoleic (C18:2), -linolenic (C18:3), arachidic (C20:0), behenic (C22:0) and lignoceric (C24:0). In most of the examined samples originating from different countries (Poland, Korea and China), the predominating acids were: -linolenic acid (43%), followed by palmitic acid (28%) and linoleic acid (14%). As compared with the multifloral pollen collected in Poland, the Brassicaceae pollen had a higher content of the lipid fraction and -linolenic acid. The content of the lipid fraction and that of the long-chain fatty acids examined in bee pollen exhibited great variability between the samples originating from one country as well as between those originating from different countries which might be linked with the various botanical origin of those samples. Due to a high concentration of essential fatty acids (EFA), pollen collected by bees in the form of pollen loads can be applied as a dietary supplement. Investigations into long-chain fatty acids in this product should be continued with consideration given to its botanical origin as well as to determine the requirements for the ratio of unsaturated fatty acids-to-saturated fatty acids (UFA/SFA ratio) - as a quality index.
Honeybee-collected pollen, long-chain fatty acids, botanical origin, Brassicaceae, GC
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