Honey is a natural commodity and consumers expect it to be pure and uncontaminated.
While antibiotics are commonly used during the honey making process to treat bacterial diseases and ensure the continued health of bees, there is a risk that drug residues may be present in the finished product.
It is highly important for the industry that these are monitored and, as a result, the use of antimicrobials in apiculture is regulated worldwide, with many countries having an official zero tolerance policy in order to protect consumers.
The need to monitor antibiotics has created a demand for rapid, reliable and sensitive screening methods that fit expertly into the honey making process.
One method is biochip array technology (BAT), a patented testing platform from Randox. Created to detect a range of antimicrobials in honey, BAT ensures rapid quantification of multiple residues in order to establish whether the final product is fit for human consumption.
Biochip array technology can simultaneously detect and provide quantitative results for up to 22 antibiotic residues from a single sample of honey, including tetracyclines, chloramphenicol, streptomycin and nitrofurans.
This innovative technology is efficient, providing full antibiotic profiling in less than three hours. Studies also show that there are no false negatives, lowering the cost per sample and eliminating the need for costly single tests.
Biochip array technology is used in conjunction with the evidence investigator, an antibiotic screening analyser also developed by Randox.
The evidence investigator removes the need for extensive confirmation testing as only positive samples require confirmatory testing, and ensures reliable results that are strongly comparable to confirmatory methods.
The journey from bee to biochip has become an essential route for honey producers globally as an indicator of the quality of the honey they are producing.
Randox Food Diagnostics is the global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of honey antimicrobial screening platforms, and has redefined the standard to become the natural choice for honey antibiotic screening solutions.