Impact of UV-C Assisted Drying Treatment on the Quality of Malaysian Stingless Bee Honey

Authors

  • Nurul Alissa Afendi
  • Nor Nadiah Abdul Karim Shah Universiti Putra Malaysia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.36877/aafrj.a0000306

Abstract

Stingless bee honey (SBH) has been the focus of various drying studies aimed at lowering the moisture content to an acceptable limit of less than 20%. The low moisture level of SBH has been found to slow yeast development and hinder the fermentation process, thereby prolonging its shelf-life. Conventionally, SBH is usually treated using thermal treatment to lower its moisture content. Due to issues with the quality degradation of thermal-treated SBH, other alternatives are being explored. Non-thermal treatment, namely ultraviolet (UV-C) assisted drying, has been proposed in this study with the expectation of replacing the conventional heat treatment. The UV-C closed system, when properly employed, may provide enough radiation energy (below 40°C) to evaporate the moisture bound in the honey. Hence, this study was aimed at determining and correlating the effects of the UV-C assisted drying process on the quality of UV-C treated SBH. The experiment was carried out on SBH (Heterotrigona itama) under UV-C treatment with the stated parameters; wavelength: 254 nm, power: 7 W, UV-C dose: 8 mJ/cm2, thickness of SBH: 3 mm for 0, 30, 50, 75, and 120 min in a controlled environment (35 ± 5% relative humidity and 25 ± 5 °C temperature). The results of this study showed that the moisture level of SBH was below the critical moisture content of 20%, with the lowest moisture content recorded at 17.42% after 120 min of UV-C treatment time (moisture loss: 3.5%) and the highest moisture content of 18.40% after 30 min of treatment time (moisture loss: 2.21%). However, the value of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) obtained in this study was significantly high (above 80 mg/kg), which might be due to the high content of fructose to glucose ratio in SBH. Nevertheless, while it has been demonstrated that UV-C assisted drying was able to lower the moisture content of SBH, further study is necessary to evaluate its effectiveness without compromising on the quality of SBH.

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Published

2022-07-02

Issue

Section

ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE