Ciencia e investigación agraria
versión On-line ISSN 0718-1620
MONTENEGRO, Gloria; GOMEZ, Miguel; DIAZ-FORESTIER, Javiera y PIZARRO, Rodrigo. Application of the Chilean Official Standard to desígnate the botanical origins of honey for the characterization of the apicultural production. Cienc. Inv. Agr. [online]. 2008, vol.35, n.2, pp. 181-190. ISSN 0718-1620. doi: 10.4067/S0718-16202008000200007.
Chilean apicultural production is characterized by a great variety of honey types with a high percentage of néctar from native plant species. The proportion of néctar from native plants associated with the high endemism of the Chilean flora results in the production of honeys with special characteristics. Approximately 95% of the honey produced in Chile is exported in bulk without added valué and accounts for 1% of the world honey trade. The differentiation of Chilean honeys on the basis of their particular biological origins represents one way to improve their competitive valué on the international market. The application of a traceability system and the establishment of the Chilean standard (NCh2881.Of2005), which determines the botanical origin of a given honey by a melissopalynological test, represent two important advances toward differentiation. In order to determine the botanical and geographical characteristics of Chilean honey, 240 honey samples from two consecutive harvesting seasons were studied using the recently approved norm. The results demónstrate that there are two main áreas of production. The first área has a Mediterranean climate (Chile's Central zone, 30° to 36° S). The honeys produced there are endemic unifloral and native multifloral, and they represent diverse species. The second área transitions to a humid températe climate (Central South zone of Chile 36° to 43° S), and the honey produced there includes native and non-native unifloral and native multifloral varieties with restricted botanical diversity.
Palabras clave : botanical origin; honeybee; Chilean honey; honey characterization.