Recent developments in honey characterization
Honey is a very complex matrix to be investigated. Several chemical classes of compounds are present in a very large range of concentrations. A large number of research groups worldwide have focused their attention and studies to improve the knowledge of honey characterization; it appears clear that new developments of technological improvements would help to provide insight on this complex problem. In the meantime, it is also clear that the officially recognized methodologies are no longer sufficient to answer to the more demanding questions concerning honey authenticity. Complicated and time demanding sample preparation, and the requirement for people specialized in pollen analysis have significantly slowed down analysis response, becoming nowadays unaffordable. The emerging new techniques are opening new frontiers in honey characterization and the most promising approach seems to be the multidisciplinary one, focused on the detection of multiple components, with the aid of chemometrics. In the present review recent findings in honey characterization using advanced analytical techniques such as NMR and Raman spectroscopy, mass spectrometry (MS) also coupled with chromatographic techniques, and other methods are presented covering the period between 2010 and 2015.