ChemCentre is undertaking wide-ranging research to support the honey industry in Australia. This includes a focus on overcoming constraints within the industry for storage and supply of mono-floral honey and enabling the creation of a certified distributor pathway for honey products into international marketplaces.
ChemCentre was a foundation partner in the formation of the national Cooperative Research Centre for Honey Bee Products (CRC HBP). This enabled the research into WA mono-floral honeys to be extended into areas of therapeutic interest, such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential.
The honey research in WA, catalysed by ChemCentre and the WA industry partnership, is now a flagship program for the CRC HBP. It continues to deliver outcomes of great value to WA producers in areas such as product compositional certification, traceability and identification, bee nutrition, flowering event prediction, palynology and supply chain systems development.
The collaboration has led to the development of a honey certification scheme for mono-floral honeys and an auditable standard for production of these honeys. ChemCentre has established several new NATA certified methods that meet International Standard Organisational (ISO) requirements.
Mono-floral honey comes from the nectar of a single plant species, such as jarrah or marri. The certification process uses compositional chemistry and supply chain certification systems to characterise different bee products. It protects against inferior product substitution to provide greater consumer certainty in international marketplaces, allowing WA honey to achieve premium product status.
The R&D model developed for this research has relevance to other agriculture and food sectors. It is receiving increasing support from other industries and funding institutions because of the successful industry outcomes achieved.