Innovation in honey 3in1 testing | Hill Laboratories - NZ

Innovation in honey 3in1 testing

Innovation in honey 3in1 testing

Date: 5 Feb 2020
Author: Hill Laboratories

The honey industry has grown immensely over the past four years. There is an increasing number of tests and regulations being introduced to ensure the client is exporting, importing, buying or selling honey that is up to New Zealand's reputation. As part of our commitment to innovation and continual improvement at Hill Laboratories, through extensive R&D we have been able to implement some improvements to our 3in1 method that has had a significant impact on the way we report our results. Specifically, we have corrected a high bias for HMF that was present in the previous 3in1 method.

‘Gold standard’ standalone, targeted methods exist for the measurement of MGO, DHA and HMF in honey. These methods are generally not used in Australasia because the 3in1 method was an innovation that allowed results to be generated for all three analytes in a single test, and at a lower cost. The 3in1 method does, however, come with some compromises. One of these is that the chemical derivatising agent used in the method is a fairly non-specific reactant, therefore allowing all three analytes to be derivatised in a single reaction. Unfortunately, this means other compounds will also react increasing the likelihood of interferences in the results. 

When comparing our old and new method there is a negligible shift in the MGO and DHA results however, the HMF results have changed significantly. This change varies from sample to sample, with the new method typically giving a 4-8ppm lower value than the old method when the results are around 40ppm. While we don't like to see large step changes in our methods, this work has been driven by good science and the need for improvement, and we are confident that the new method gives more accurate results.

Our new 3in1 method remains fully accredited, with no change to our report format and speedy turnaround times.  If you would like to know more about the technical side of our new innovation, please click this link to view the technical note for this change, available on our website.