Project to Determine Impurity, Manipulation and Origin in Honey by Region
Balparmak’s “Project to Determine Impurity, Manipulation and Origin in Honey by Region” began in 2004 and was developed through a joint effort with TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey). The aim of the project was to work toward solving “impurity, manipulation, and unreliable origin problems,” which were the biggest dilemmas facing the Turkish honey and apiculture sector, and a significant obstacle to exportation. An expert team of food and agricultural engineers, chemists, biologists and technicians carried out the project in 48 provinces in all 7 of Turkey’s regions, in the districts where beekeeping was widely practiced. One component of the project was also to train beekeepers.
Between 2004 and 2007, the team examined the physical, microscopic, chemical, and organoleptic characteristics of 12,359 honey specimens taken directly from beekeepers, and performed residue analyses on them. The process enabled the team to conduct certain analyses that could not have been done on honey anywhere else in Turkey, thus making great strides in detecting manipulation in honey and determining its origin. The project resulted in establishing university-industry cooperation and organizing conferences and field studies through the collaboration of producer unions and 57 provincial and district agriculture directorates. A total of 4,045 beekeepers received training – 3,791 at conferences and 354 through field studies. Certain residue problems disappeared due to the technical training imparted on the beekeepers over the course of the project. Honey output also increased as a result of this training.