Texas Local Honey Biological Activity Level (BAL) Project

Throughout the history, honey has been used for various therapeutic purposes, such as wound healing, treatment of skin and eye infections, gut diseases, as well as a painkiller due to its high biological activity. The bioactivity potential of honey is mostly dependent on its biological and chemical constituents. Honey contains over 200 compounds, being broadly composed of sugars, water, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, etc. Honey has been reported to have various biological activity properties, such as immunomodulatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antidiabetic, and antitumor activities. The exact composition of honey differs depending on the variety of geographical region, climate, strain of honeybee, and nectar source.

In this study, we will characterize the biological activity levels (BAL) of honey samples collected from beekeepers at different locations of Texas. Using biochemical analytical methods, we will determine the conformity features such as color, moisture, sugar, enzyme, protein, pollen, and HMF, as well as the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of the honey samples. Eventually, we will calculate their BAL using our unique formula.

Our long-term goal is to identify the biochemical fingerprint of Texan honeys. To achieve this goal, we will collect and analyze honey samples (n:50) from 7 different regions of Texas with a homogenous distribution, which are Big Bend Country, Gulf Coast, Hill Country, Panhandle Plains, Piney Woods, Prairies and Lakes, and South Texas Plains. We will provide a short questionnaire for the beekeepers to identify the location, type, forage, nectar source, and harvest period of the honey with their contact information.

These analyses will be performed by students of UTSA and School of Science and Technology under the supervision of Dr. Ferhat Ozturk during Spring 2021. Results of our findings will be presented at Texas Beekeepers Association’s (TBA) annual conference, and other student conferences, as well as will be published at prestigious journals. The expected outcome of this study is that the Texas local honey samples with high BAL can be promoted globally for therapeutic uses in complementary and integrative medicine studies for animal models and clinical trials.

To participate in this study and receive a free honey BAL analysis, please send 4-oz sample of your unique honey to the TBA (form available here).

Sincerely yours,

Ferhat Ozturk, Ph.D.
University of Texas San Antonio