Poster Title

Toward Fingerprinting Kentucky Honey: Melissopalynology

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Agriculture

Minor

Traditional Music

2nd Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Freshmen

2nd Student Major

Undeclared

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

99;72

KY Senate District #

27;28

Department

Earth and Space Sciences

Abstract

Kentucky is at the forefront of a nationwide movement against honey adulteration and misbranding. This movement was made more urgent by March 2018 FDA guidelines for the proper labeling of honey and honey products, including statements that honey must be produced from living plants, that honey may not be adulterated with other syrups, such as light sweet sorghum or corn syrup, and that any honey labeled with a floral source must have evidence to back up this claim. Traditionally, honey is “typed” using melissopalynology. Melissopalynology is the identification and quantification of pollen contained in honey. Trained melissopalynologists are scarce in the United States; at present this training is available 3 universities, including Morehead State University. Morehead State University’s focus on undergraduate education and workforce readiness makes it uniquely suited to train students for this emerging career opportunity, especially as training can be incorporated into preparatory studies for careers in horticulture, county extension, ecology, and environmental studies. A major goal of ongoing melissopalynological work at Morehead State University is the development of a honey fingerprint for Kentucky. Here we present an example of how honey from out-of-state compared with honey from multiple in-state sources. The honey fingerprints under development can be used to identify regional honey, and also as a means of supporting sustainable urban and rural apiculture and implementation of the Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan.

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Toward Fingerprinting Kentucky Honey: Melissopalynology

Kentucky is at the forefront of a nationwide movement against honey adulteration and misbranding. This movement was made more urgent by March 2018 FDA guidelines for the proper labeling of honey and honey products, including statements that honey must be produced from living plants, that honey may not be adulterated with other syrups, such as light sweet sorghum or corn syrup, and that any honey labeled with a floral source must have evidence to back up this claim. Traditionally, honey is “typed” using melissopalynology. Melissopalynology is the identification and quantification of pollen contained in honey. Trained melissopalynologists are scarce in the United States; at present this training is available 3 universities, including Morehead State University. Morehead State University’s focus on undergraduate education and workforce readiness makes it uniquely suited to train students for this emerging career opportunity, especially as training can be incorporated into preparatory studies for careers in horticulture, county extension, ecology, and environmental studies. A major goal of ongoing melissopalynological work at Morehead State University is the development of a honey fingerprint for Kentucky. Here we present an example of how honey from out-of-state compared with honey from multiple in-state sources. The honey fingerprints under development can be used to identify regional honey, and also as a means of supporting sustainable urban and rural apiculture and implementation of the Kentucky Pollinator Protection Plan.