Utility of the Leptospermum scoparium Compound Lepteridine as a Chemical Marker for Manuka Honey Authenticity

December 4, 2023

Manuka honey is a premium food product with unique antimicrobial bioactivity. Concerns with mislabeled manuka honey require robust assays to determine authenticity. Lepteridine is a Leptospermum-specific fluorescent molecule with potential as an authenticity marker. We describe a mass spectrometry-based assay to measure lepteridine based on an isotopically labeled lepteridine standard. Using this assay, lepteridine concentrations in manuka honey samples strongly correlated with concentrations quantitated by either high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet (HPLC-UV) or fluorescence. A derived minimum lepteridine threshold concentration was compared with the New Zealand regulatory definition for manuka honey to determine “manuka honey” authenticity on a set of commercial samples. Both methods effectively distinguished manuka honey from non-manuka honeys. The regulatory definition excludes lepteridine but otherwise includes the quantification of multiple floral markers together with pollen analysis. Our findings suggest that the quantification of lepteridine alone or in combination with leptosperin could be implemented as an effective screening method to identify manuka honey, likely to achieve an outcome similar to the regulatory definition.

Lin, B (2020)

Click the link to article https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsomega.0c00486