Test preliminary results

Test preliminary results

The non-compliances detected by this control plan were mostly related to the declaration of the botanical source (7%) and to adulteration with sugar (6%). Non-compliances related to the declaration of the geographical origin were less frequent (2%) but are difficult to detect.

In addition, 13% of the samples that were not characterised as non-compliant were classified as "suspicion of non-compliance" with regard to their geographical origin (2%) or to a possible adulteration with sugar (11%).

More detailed results

Some unintentional non-compliances related to the botanical source are the result of bees foraging a wide variety of plants in large areas, even if the hives are very close to the predominant plant species that is expected to be the botanical source. Adulteration with sugar is more often the result of fraudulent practices.

It is not possible at this stage to draw final conclusions on the prevalence on the market of honeys adulterated with sugar, due to the limitations of the current validated methods of analysis.

The preliminary results of this control plan will be completed by further tests conducted by Joint Research Centre - Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements of the European Commission (JRC-IRMM). Advanced laboratory methods will be used to investigate 1200 samples that were not characterised as adulterated with the current tests. The report, expected by mid-2016, will include a detailed cross-analysis of the full set of data.