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Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia

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VIT, Patricia; DELIZA, Rosires  and  PEREZ, Alfonso. How a Huottuja (Piaroa) community perceives genuine and false honey from the Venezuelan Amazon, by free-choice profi le sensory method. Rev. bras. farmacogn. [online]. 2011, vol.21, n.5, pp.786-792.  Epub June 24, 2011. ISSN 0102-695X.

Pot honey is the most abundant honey in the forest, produced by many species of stingless bees (Meliponini) of the Huottuja (Piaroa) community in Paria Grande, Venezuela. However, the commercialization of this honey is low, and false honeys, which are sold in labelled bottles, are easily found in the market. This study has investigated the ability of an untrained panel of Piaroa assessors to differentiate the genuine from the false pot honey using the Free-choice profile. This sensory method allows consumers to use their own words to describe and to quantify sensory attributes of a product. The genuine honeys, light amber Melipona fuscopilosa "isabitto" and dark amber Tetragona clavipes "ajavitte", the false light and dark "angelita" honeys, and the amber Apis mellifera honey, were evaluated. Sensory attributes related to the appearance, color, odor, flavor and mouthfeel were elicited in a qualitative session and were quantified in 10-cm unstructured line scales using individual score sheets. The data were analyzed by Generalized Procrustes Analysis (GPA). The bidimensional plot successfully separated genuine from false pot honeys. The first dimension (39.50%) was represented by the low viscosity, fermented odor and sour taste, whereas the second dimension (24.69%) was related to fruity and honey odor and flavor. Huottuja assessors differentiated the five honey types in terms of the perceived sensory characteristics.

Keywords : Apis; free-choice profile; honey; Huottuja; Meliponini; sensory analysis.

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