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Analytical Strategies for LC–MS-Based Untargeted and Targeted Metabolomics Approaches Reveal the Entomological Origins of Honey

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journal contribution
posted on 13.01.2022, 15:08 authored by Xinran Wang, Yi Li, Lanzhen Chen, Jinhui Zhou
A comprehensive liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS)-based metabolomics approach was developed to discriminate honey harvested from Apis mellifera ligustica Spinola (A. mellifera) and Apis cerana cerana Fabricius (A. cerana). Based on an untargeted strategy, ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization quadrupole orbitrap high-resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC Q-Orbitrap) was combined with chemometrics techniques to screen and identify tentative markers from A. mellifera and A. cerana honey. In targeted metabolomics analysis, a sensitive method of solid-phase extraction followed by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) was established for quantifying three markers, and the results showed that 3-amino-2-naphthoic acid and methyl indole-3-acetate could be considered markers of A. cerana honey, as they were present in higher amounts in A. cerana honey than in A. mellifera honey, whereas kynurenic acid was determined to be a marker of A. mellifera honey. This work highlights critical information for the authentication of A. cerana and A. mellifera honey.

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