The use of ETOH for the dilution of honey Academic Article uri icon


  • Since the beginning of honey production, certain honey types are preferred because they taste better, are better for cooking, or do not rapidly crystallize. Pollen found in honey is used to determine the honey's type. Techniques used to extract pollen from honey vary in the amount of honey examined, the amount of water used to dilute the honey, and the time and speed of centrifugation. These variations address the disparity in pollen recovery that is due to the specific gravity and sinking rates of the different pollen types. Ethyl alcohol (ETOH) was used as a dilution liquid for honey and compared to two water-dilution techniques, one with a short centrifugation time (1 minute) and the other using a long centrifugation time (10 minutes). The ETOH samples were centrifuged for 3 minutes. All samples were centrifuged at 4000 r.p.m. Significantly higher pollen concentration values were found in the ETOH-diluted samples. Pollen concentration values of the ETOH-diluted samples were 5.26 times greater than water-diluted, short centrifugation samples, and 3.26 times greater than water-diluted, long centrifugation samples. ETOH-diluted samples produced 16% more taxa than the water-diluted short centrifugation technique, and 10% more taxa than the water-diluted long centrifugation technique. The pollen spectra were not consistent across the three techniques. Additional research is needed to determine the efficiency of other ETOH concentrations in recovering pollen from honey. We recommend that the ETOH-dilution technique become the standard technique for the extraction of pollen from honey for pollen analyses because of the improved pollen recovery.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jones, G. D., & Bryant, V. M.

citation count

  • 41

publication date

  • September 2004

published in