Pollen Analysis of NZ Honey
This report summarises the results of a pilot study into a palynological analysis of 45 honey samples from Waikato University Honey Research Unit’s honey databank to see if the honeys were true to label based on pollen analysis. Of the 21 honeys labelled as monofloral most are accurately labelled or very close to being accurately labelled using palynological criteria. The six exceptions included two labelled as kanuka honey, which are mixed kanuka/lotus/clover honeys, one labelled as tawari honey, which is a clover honey, two labelled kamahi, which are mixed Quintinia/manuka/kamahi and clover/manuka/kamahi honeys, respectively, and one labelled as rewarewa honey, which is a clover honey. One kamahi sample, one borage sample, and one tawari honey sample did not contain enough pollen to count. All other named honeys contain enough pollen of the nominated pollen source to justify their naming and in some cases palynology showing that the honey could be called monofloral, but not necessarily on the basis of the named source species. Modern alcohol-based processing must be used in order to obtain the maximum number and
diversity of pollen grains from the honey under investigation, and in the best condition for identification. Centrifuging should be used but not crushing and straining.