Čeksterytė, V.* Kurtinaitienė, B., Jansen, E. HJM and Belova, O. 2014. Melissopalynological Analysis and Biochemical Assessment of the Nectariferous Plants in Lithuania. Baltic Forestry 20(2): 218-229

One of the most important non-wood forest products are products of the animal origin including bee products. Bee pollen and beebread are vitally important to enhance ecological, economic and social well-being. Valuable constituents of bee products result in healing properties including fatty acids and glucose oxidase.

The present study was aimed to compare fatty acids contents and glucose oxidase activity in pollen and beebread from different plants taxa. Fatty acids ω-3 and ω-6, which are essential for a healthy human diet, were identified in all pollen and beebread samples. Fatty acid patterns were determined in monofloral bee pollen of maple (Acer L.), horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale L.) and oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.). The pollen from willow (Salix spp.), oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) were dominated in the beebread used for fatty acid analysis. Fatty acids were determined from C10 to C24 in both pollen and beebread. High levels of the α-linolenic acid, an essential n-3 fatty acid, were found in the samples. The highest content of α-linolenic acid, ranging from 33.5 ± 2.9 % to 49.6 ± 2.6 %, was identified in all pollen samples, and in beebread from 29.6 ± 1.2 % to 42.2 ± 1.4 %. Of the saturated fatty acids, a palmitic acid (C16:0) was present in the highest concentration from 14.8 ± 1.9 % to 24.8 ± 0.03% in all monofloral pollen, and in beebread, it ranged from 23.3 ± 1.7 % to 24.2 ± 1.8 %. Lauric acid (C12:0) and stearic acid (C18:0) were found in the highest concentrations only in dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) pollen, 11.1 ± 0.8 % and 11.6 ± 0.9 %, respectively. The enzymatic activity of glucose oxidase (GOX) in beebread and monofloral rape (Brassica napus) pollen was statistically significantly higher (at p < 0.05) compared to that of willow (Salix spp.) and plum (Prunus domestica L.) pollen. In beebread, the oilseed rape monofloral pollen, which is characterised by the highest GOX activity, accounted for 81.65 %. Both the composition of the pollen in the beebread and its fermentation process in a bee hive can influence GOX activity. It should be emphasized that one of antibacterial constituents released by the enzyme glucose oxidase is hydrogen peroxide. It protects bee colonies against diseases and influences food preservation in a hive.

Key words: non-wood forest products, pollen, beebread, fatty acids, glucose oxidase