Apimondia’s statement on honey fraud

Apimondia have released a 2019 statement on honey fraud regarding honey purity, authenticity and the best available recommended methods to detect fraud.

To read the statement from Apimondia, please click on the button below:

View Statement

The report states that: “Honey fraud is a criminal and intentional act committed to obtain an economic gain by selling a product that is not up to standards.

Different types of honey fraud can be achieved through:

  • dilution with different syrups produced, e.g. from corn, cane sugar, beet sugar, rice, wheat, etc.;
  • harvesting of immature honey, which is further actively dehydrated by the use of  technical equipment, including but not limited to vacuum dryers;
  • using ion-exchange resins to remove residues and lighten honey colour;
  • masking and/or mislabelling the geographical and/or botanical origin of honey;
  • artificial feeding of bees during a nectar flow.

The product which results from any of the above described fraudulent methods shall not be called “honey” neither the blends containing it, as the standard only allows blends of pure honeys.

Apimondia have rejected the idea of methods being developed with the intentions of artificially speeding up the natural process of honey production through an unnecessary intervention of humans and technology that may lead to violations of honey standards. Honey fraud defaces honey’s image of being a natural product. It also affects the consumer as they are not getting the product they are paying for as a result threatening food safety and security.”

Apimondia’s view on honey testing

Scientific methods to detect honey fraud are constantly evolving and this is due to the organisations committing the honey fraud learning about the testing methods and trying to outsmart them.

The report states:

“The importance of applying suitable testing regimes, not only covering methods required by authorities, has to be emphasized due to the limitations of official methods, e.g. the AOAC official method 998.12. Internal Standard Stable Carbon Isotope Ratio. It is well known that the AOAC official method can detect reliably and sensitive additions of syrups derived from C4-plants, but fails to detect many other types of syrup.

Apimondia highly recommends a choice of method(s) tailored to each specific situation. It is interesting to note that, due to the nature of honey fraud, it is not infrequent that the results of a method may need to be clarified by the use of other alternative tests.”

To help improve food safety in the honey industry Randox Food Diagnostics provide a full profile for honey testing including antibiotics and pesticides (coming soon) on the multiplexing Evidence Investigator analyser. Using Biochip Array Technology, the Investigator allows the user to screen for multiple drug residues within 54 honey samples in just 2 hours 30 minutes.

Randox Food also offer the RX misano a user friendly, table top spectrophotometer which can be used to run a range of quality tests for honey such as sucrose, glucose/fructose, honey colour, HMF and Diastase.

Randox Food Diagnostics will be attending Apimondia in Montreal  September 2019, stop by our booth to learn more!

For all enquiries on our honey screening product range please email us at:

Request Demo