Diversity of allochtonous substances detected in bee pollen pellets

Marek Kolenčík, Peter Štrba, Gabriela Kratošová, Illa Ramakanth


Received: 2016-08-07 | Accepted: 2016-09-13 | Available online: 2017-09-30

This paper quantifies the diversity of natural and artificial allochthonous materials in bee pollen pellets and assesses their impact on potential applications. Bee products used in medicine, pharmacology and food products contain honey bee wax, propolis and flower pollens, and bee pollen pellet composition is dependent on the flower’s locality and methods used in technological preparation and storage. The quality of commercially available pollen and its positive and negative mode-of-actions are significantly influenced by natural and artificial allochthonous substances. The flower pollen pellets for this study were obtained from the Levice district in the Slovak Republic and analysed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). These visual and chemical analyses confirmed; (i) 4 different botanical pollen species were present in the pellets, (ii) minimal harmful substances were detected; with bee fragments and dead fungal hyphae biomass noted, (iii) different types of soil particles/aggregates were adsorbed; mainly Fe, Si oxides, silicates and alumosilicates and (iv) analysis revealed one artificial Ti-Mn-Fe grain, but this was most likely a residue from technological processes. Determination of all hazardous substances is necessary for bee pollen to be widely commercially available as food nutritional and energy supplements, and this can be achieved by microscopic study and the wide range of current analytical techniques.

Keywords: bee pollen, food sources, pollen pellets, soil particles, artificial contaminants


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