Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mustard Bee Pollen Contains Rich Nutraceuticals, Antioxidants

Honey bees are documented to have the ability to choose ingredients that are fresh and nutritionally potent. This study confirms Indian Mustard bee pollen contains certain flavonoids, also found in propolis, that possess high levels of antioxidant activity. Along with 50% carbohydrates, 18% proteins and 10% fats (by weight), this bee pollen proves to be a healthy source of nutrition for honey bees and consumers alike.

Investigation of the nutraceutical potential of monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen
J Integr Med., 2014 July;12(4):379-89

This study was designed to investigate the nutraceutical potential of monofloral Indian mustard bee pollen (MIMBP).

The nutritional value of MIMBP was examined in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and energy value. Its chemical composition in terms of total polyphenol and flavonoid content was determined. MIMBP was screened for free flavonoid aglycones by developing and validating a high-performance liquid chromatography-photo diode array (HPLC-PDA) method. MIMBP was analyzed for in vitro antioxidant effect in terms of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical-scavenging activity.

MIMBP was found to be comprised of proteins ((182.2±5.9) g/kg), fats ((137.7±6.8) g/kg) and carbohydrates ((560.6±17.4) g/kg), which result in its high energy value ((17 616.7±78.6) kJ/kg). MIMBP was found to contain polyphenols ((18 286.1±374.0) mg gallic acid equivalent/kg) and flavonoids ((1 223.5±53.1) mg quercetin equivalent/kg). The HPLC-PDA analysis revealed the presence of kaempferol ((65.4±0.5) mg/kg) and quercetin ((51.4±0.4) mg/kg) in MIMBP, which can be used as markers for determining the quality of bee pollen. The MIMBP extract showed DPPH free radical-scavenging activity with a half maximal inhibitory concentration of 54.79 μg/mL.

The MIMBP was found to be a rich source of nutrients providing high caloric value, which makes it a candidate for a potential nutraceutical agent. The study also illustrated the high antioxidant content of MIMBP, especially in the principle polyphenols and flavonoids, which suggests its potential role in the prevention of free radical-implicated diseases. The DPPH-scavenging effect of MIMBP further confirmed its antioxidant potential. Additionally, we developed a simple, specific and accurate HPLC-PDA method for the identification and quantification of free flavonoid aglycones. This can be applied in future screenings of the quality of pollen collected by honeybees.

Click here to download the entire study.

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