Chemical Composition and Biological Activities of Honeybee Products From Algeria

Document Type: Original Article


1 Laboratory of Process Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Amar Telidji University, 03000, Laghouat, Algeria

2 Vocatinal High School of Health Services, Giresun University, 28200, Giresun, Turkey

3 Department of Biology, Science Faculty, Hacettepe University, 06800, Ankara, Turkey

4 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Jordan, Amman 11942, Jordan

5 Medicinal Chemistry Department, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Kornaish El-Nile, Warrak El-Hadar, Imbaba (P.O. 30), Giza, 12411, Egypt


Introduction: In the current study, the microscopic and chemical analysis of Algerian honey, pollen, and propolis were investigated.
Materials and Methods: The chemical composition of the ethanolic extracts of honeybee products was determined via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. Furthermore, their in vitro anticancer, antimicrobial, antioxidant activities, total phenolic content (TPC), and total flavonoid content (TFC) were evaluated. Anticancer activities were assessed using the MTT assay while the antimicrobial potential was studied using the microdilution method. The antioxidant activities were investigated using the 2,2’-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH), hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity (H2O2) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP). The TPC and TFC were evaluated via Folin-Ciocalteu’s and AlCl3 assays, respectively.
Results: In the GC-MS analyses, 36 compounds were identified in the ethanol extract of pollen accounting for 92.73% of the total extract; linolenic acid was the most abundant compound (21.28%). Also, 23 compounds were identified in the ethanol extract of propolis representing 29.91% of the total extract; Z-nerolidol was the most abundant compound (8.96%). Moreover, 17 compounds were identified in the ethanol extract of honey representing 99.40% of the total extract while glyceraldehyde (27.07%) was the major abundant compound. The ethanol extract from pollen yielded the highest TPC with 1169.33 mg Gallic acid equivalent/g dry extract. In the DPPH assay, the SC50 values ranged from 50.74 to 53.05 μg/mL. Significant antimicrobial activities were associated with propolis with Gram-positive bacteria as the most sensitive microorganisms. In addition, remarkable anticancer activities were observed for propolis against five human cancer cell lines with LD50 values in the range of 3-160 μg/mL.
Conclusions: Algerian Honeybee products, especially propolis, may be a potential source of naturally occurring bioactive compounds for the treatment of oxidative stress and cancer diseases.