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[News Item #13]  The Glycemic Index of Honey
2006-11-01 22:00:31

A preliminary assessment of the glycemic index of honey and the effect of different flower nectar on it.

This article is a publication by the Australian government and relates, in so far as honey types are concerned, to Australia. The article however, has broader interest, as it gives a concise summary of the nutritional value of honey, its composition and a good background on what the glycemic index actually is.

As a summary, here are some excerpts from article that may be of general interest.

Honey contains more than 180 identified substances but consists mainly of sugars with the remainder consisting of flavouring materials, minerals, acids, enzymes and pigments. In most honeys, the monosaccharide fructose predominates with lesser amounts of glucose occurring. In addition there are at least another 12 disaccharides (sugars) in honey.

Acids make up 0.5% of the total honey solids and contributes to the flavour.

A 100g serving of honey supplies 1320 kilojoules of energy compared to 100g of table sugar (sucrose) which contains 1600 kilojoules of energy.

Honey contains small amounts of minerals and vitamins and they are of little significance due to their small quantities.

Invertase is the most significant enzyme as it is added by the honeybee and splits the sucrose into constituent sugars and produces more complex ones.

Results of tests on subjects indicate that there is a significant variation in the glycemic index (GI) depending on the source of the honey. In other words, honey can be classified as a low, moderate or high GI food depending on the source.

Download the complete article in pdf format.