The present study was aimed at the identification and characterization of the bee honey (Apis mellifera) derived from cashew flowers (Anacardium occidentale L.). The study was carried out through the analysis of 24 samples of honey collected from apiaries distributed in a cashew plantation of about 1000 hectares, located in the area around the town of Cascavel, in the state of Ceará, Brazil. The samples were submitted to melissopalinological and physicochemical analysis (humidity, total acidity, ashes, total sugars, Lund, pH, electrical conductivity, HMF, water activity, and density). On the basis of the melissopalinological analysis, the honey was considered unifloral, with its origin traced to the cashew flowering. The variation intervals of the physicochemical parameters under analysis were: 16.5-19.2% (humidity), 22-40meq kg-1 (total acidity), 0.18-0.30% (ashes), 80.8-83.5% (total sugars), 1.0-2.0mL (Lund), 3.48-3.83 (pH), 179-198µS cm-1 (electrical conductivity), 9.6-30.91mg kg-1 (HMF), 0.62-0.76 (water activity), and 1.337-1.437g mL-1 (density). The analyses show that the honey originating from the cashew flowering presents unique physicochemical characteristics which are within the standards established by the current legislation.
honey; cashew; characterization; origin; identification