Hydroxymethylfurfural #376963 - Ask Extension


Hydroxymethylfurfural #376963

Asked November 14, 2016, 8:33 AM EST

When feeding sugar syrup heat,and time are mentioned as causes for hmf. I would like to know more about the time aspect.Is it better to feed a quart a day, rather than two gallons every eight days, or a barrel a month? Time is always mentioned, but never specifically addressed as how to avoid or eliminate.Is time in the equation more during the preparation of the feed, or the amount of time it takes to consume ,or both.I understand that hmf is in vinegar,and citric acid as well,so most of the winter patties being cooked are presumable loaded with hmf by the time it is consumed.Would you agree with that assumption? 

Blount County Tennessee

Expert Response

Your questions are good ones and I will try to address your concerns. I also provide 2 references which you should read.

HMF is a breakdown product of heating sugar, whether in the form of honey (which contains glucose and fructose) high fructose corn syrup (HFCS,commonly fed by commercial beekeepers that varies from 42%, 55% and up to 90% of fructose) or cane sugar syrup (glucose and fructose).

Fructose concentration is a key element because more HMF is produced with higher fructose levels especially with HFCS.  The older the source of syrup or honey, the higher the HMF. The higher the syrup is heated the faster the HMF accumulates. 
Evidence indicates feeding with heated HFCS increases bee mortality in under 20 days.

I do not recommend feeding with high fructose corn syrup.
To avoid dangerous levels of HMF, use cane sugar/water syrup - 50% and do not heat past 100 degrees F . Feed only fresh syrup to avoid HMF accumulation.

The details are below, Start with Dr. Collison's article and then look at the other lab study which he also references.



Best wishes, John
John Skinner Replied November 22, 2016, 1:30 PM EST

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