FSI under VinaCert participated in the contest of Mint honey products in Ha Giang province in 2017 (15/12/2017)

In the chain of the events of Buckwheat Flower Festival in 2017, on 25th November 2017 in Meo Vac town, Ha Giang province People's Committee organized the contest of Mint honey products in 2017 and the seminar "Application of technology and management solutions to improve the quality of Mint honey in Ha Giang province. Representatives of Food Safety Institute (FSI under VinaCert) participated in the contest as a member of the Organizing Committee and jury, and having a presentation on the specific values of Mint honey with the geographical indication in "Meo Vac".

Teams in the contest receiving souvenir flag of the Organizing Committee

Participating in the contest, there were 14 teams from cooperatives and Mint flowers honey exploiting beekeepers - representatives of 4 districts: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac and Dong Van., these are regions under Mint honey geographical indication of Dong Van Stone highland.

Each team must pass 4 parts of the contest, including theoretical part, two practical parts and the booth decoration part. In which, the theoretical part consisting multiple choice questions related to the knowledge of beekeepers about raising, caring, pest control and honey exploiting techniques; The practical part consisting distinguishing three types of honey: logan,  acacia mangium, mint honey; practical part of determining moisture and sensory evaluation of the quality of mint honey. Booth decoration part of displaying mint honey products and other specific products of the people in the Stone highland.

The jury had 8 members from units: Department of Science and Technology, Sub department of Animal Health, Sub department of Standards, Metrology and Quality, department of Health, department of Industry and Trade of Ha Giang province; Bee research center (Livestock institute), Institute of Natural Products Chemistry, Food Safety Institute (FSI) under VinaCert, have scored serious exam papers to ensure objectivity, honesty and accuracy.

In the theoretical part, each team had 10 multiple choice questions. After the exam, the jury also provided specific case related to biological fields, breed choice, honey bees management techniques and post-harvest honey preservation.

Doctor. Le Quang Trung (on the left) directing  the practical examination of distinguishing  types of honey

The highlight of the contest is the practice part  of distinguishing types of honey. In this part, each team would dispatch one contestant, depending on the color, taste, smell, comparability, density ... to determine what was mint, logan or  acacia mangium, honey.

After the exam, Doctor Le Quang Trung (deputy director of Food Safety Institute under VinaCert) commented: "This was difficult part, many teams were confused between acacia mangium, honey and logan honey or logan honey and mint honey.

"In order to exactly distinguish the types of honey, especially those with the same color and flavor, the sensory experience is not enough, need to be determined the characteristic of each honey by analytical methods in the laboratory, then use them as indicators to distinguish each type of honey, " Doctor Trung concluded.

After assessing honey quality, including the determination of honey's moisture and sensory, color, sweetness, clarity and smell assessment of mint honey, the jury also scored decoration for each booth.

The Dong Van Stone highland is  endowed by nature with many majestic and exotic natural landscapes,  many specific products were displayed at 14 booths of 14 participating teams. Highlights at the booths is the famous mint honey products of the Stone highland.

Along with careful preparation, responsible spirit, enthusiasm, the booths decoration contest has attracted a lot of people and tourists to visit, buy honey products. Thereby, strengthening the linking between supply and demand; supporting actively the propaganda and trade promotion for mint honey products.

Mint honey in Dong Van Stone highland is syrupy with its color from yellow-green to light green, it is known that a product of high medical value, sold form 300 to 500,000 VND / liter, the highest price in the market of our country..

In the afternoon of the same day, Ha Giang Department of Science and Technology collaborated with the Institute of Natural Products Chemistry (under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) to organize the seminar on Application of technology and management solutions to improve the quality of Mint honey in Ha Giang province.

At the seminar, participants discussed 6 topics: application of science and technology advances to improve the quality of mint honey; the specific value of mint honey bearing the geographical indication in Meo Vac; status and development trend of bee keeping sector in the Dong Van Stone highland; development results of local honey bee mounting the planning of mint area in the Dong Van Stone highland; role of group and Association in production, management and development of the geographical indication in Meo Vac using for mint honey in Ha Giang province; To develop the production and trading of mint honey products of Meo Vac district, etc.

The presentation on the specific values of mint honey bearing the geographical indication in Meo Vac, Doctor. Le Quang Trung (FSI under VinaCert) said that honey contains about 200 different substances, mainly fructose single  and glucose  sugar (70-75%); water (18-19%); Protein and amino acids (0.1-0.4%) which determine the nutritional value of honey. Most of honey types have two classes of antioxidants (phenolic and flavonoids) and one group of antimicrobial substances (1,2-dicarbonyl), which show particular value and medical role of honey.

According to the promulgation in the world, the specificity of honey depends on the flowers source where bees collect nectar. Bees collect nectar from different flowers, are grown in different geographic regions, bringing honey with different rates of antimicrobial and antioxidant substances.

The specific value determination of different honey types is the basis to retrieve the origin of honey, prevent fake honey and commercial fraud in the production and consumption of bee products, contribute to confirm the brand of mint honey bringing geographical indication  in "Meo Vac" in the domestic and international market.

The mint honey products contest and the seminar on  application of science,  technology and solutions to improve the quality of mint honey in Ha Giang province is a useful playground for producers and traders of mint honey products having the opportunity to exchange, learn experience about beekeeping. At the same time, help enterprises, consumers have more useful knowledge to recognize  mint honey products.


                                                                                                             Thanh Hai IRC 

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