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††Carbon††13C / 12C
††Nitrogen††15 / 14N
††Oxygen††18 / 16O
††Sulfur††34 / 32S


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Isotope Analysis for Detection of the Economic Adulteration of Honey

Isotope Testing of the Authentication of Honey

The economic adulteration of honey with low cost sugar syrup is known to occur with some regularity. To provide consumer confidence and add value to quality honey produce, many honey producers and importers have opted to test their honey purity using the carbon-13 isotope methods recommended by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). These methods can detect the adulteration of expensive honey with cheap high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and cane sugar.

Honey Carbon-13 Analysis Package
(Cat. No.: FC31P ............... £69.50 per sample)

See Example Laboratory Report

Our Honey Carbon-13 analysis package allows detection of adulteration of pure honey with HFCS or cane sugar. It is conducted every week to the standard required by AOAC methods 978.17 & 991.41 and is recommended by the British Honey Importers & Packers Association. (BHIPA).

The first stage in the analysis is to measure the carbon-13 content of the honey. The carbon-13 content of pure honey is distinctly different from that of HFCS or cane sugar, allowing confirmation of gross adulteration with sugar syrup (greater than 20 % sugar syrup). The second stage of the analysis involves extraction of protein from honey and subsequent measurement of the carbon-13 content of the honey protein. Finally, the carbon-13 content of the honey and the honey protein are compared. If the honey has been adulterated with more than 7 % sugar syrup the honey will contain significantly more carbon-13 than the honey protein.

We require 50 grams of honey to be supplied for analysis. Samples received by 10 a.m. on Wednesday will be reported on Friday of the same week. Our laboratory reports include carbon-13 content of honey and honey protein, as determined by duplicate analysis, the difference between the carbon-13 content of the honey and the protein and an interpretation of the outcome of the analysis.

For further information on our isotope analyses for authentication of honey please Email us or use our quote form.

13C Breath

Animal Tissue

Bone Collagen

Core Water

Doubly Labelled Water


Fruit Juice Sugar

Fruit Juice Water


Maple Syrup