A new method for the determination of 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (HMF) in royal jelly by reversed phase HPLC is presented. The method is rapid and simple and it has been validated in terms of limits of detection and quantification, linearity, precision and accuracy, in addition to being tested on twenty-five real samples supplied by a local beekeeper. The method showed good limits of detection and quantification (0.53 mg kg(-1) and 1.60 mg kg(-1), respectively) and an excellent linearity (R-2 = 0.9999). Precision values, expressed in terms of repeatability and reproducibility (3.8% and 15.6%, respectively), are acceptable according to Horwitz's theory. Average recovery values were 98 +/- 2%. Preliminary data suggest that while HMF concentration in freshly harvested royal jelly and in samples stored at 4 degrees C is below the quantification limit, it is possible to measure quantifiable concentrations in samples stored at room temperature.
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