The first chemical characterization of abbamele, a traditional honey decoction from Sardinia (Italy) is hereby reported. Water content (from 17.7% to 27.7%), electrical conductivity (from 0.19 to 0.81 mS cm(-1)), pH (from 3.21 to 3.92), free acidity (from 26.1 to 87.6 meq kg(-1)), invertase activity (from 0 to 1.02 U kg(-1)), 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furaldehyde, HMF (from 881 to 4776 mg kg(-1)), total polyphenols (from 188 to 984 mg kg(-1)) and free amino acid contents of thirteen abbamele samples, from industrial and traditional producers, were obtained in an attempt to compare this traditional product with honey and to study the relationship between its main features and the production procedures. The long thermal treatment involved in the production of abbamele has been identified as the main cause of very low (or absent) invertase activity and free amino acid content as well as the very high content of HMF. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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