Colloidal structure of honey and its influence on antibacterial activity.


Brudzynski K(1)(2), Sjaarda CP(3)(4).
Author information:
(1)Department of Drug Discovery, Bee-Bimedical Inc., St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
(2)Department of Biological Sciences, Brock University and Department of Drug Discovery, Bee-Biomedicals Inc., St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
(3)Queen's Genomics Lab at Ongwanada
(Q-GLO), Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
(4)Department of Psychiatry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


Honey colloidal structure emerges as a new trend in research on honey functions since it became recognized as a major factor altering bioactivity of honey compounds. In honey complex matrix, macromolecules self-associate to colloidal particles at the critical concentration, driven by honey viscosity. Sequestration of macromolecules into colloids changes their activities and affects honey antibacterial function. This review fills the 80-year-old gap in research on honey colloidal structure. It summarizes past and current status of the research on honey colloids and describes physicochemical properties and the mechanisms of colloid formation and their dissociation upon honey dilution. The experimental observations are explained in the context of theoretical background of colloidal science. The functional changes and bioactivity of honey macromolecules bound to colloidal particles are illustrated here by the production of H2 O2 by glucose oxidase and the effect they have on antibacterial activity of honey. The changes in the production of H2 O2 and antibacterial activity of honey were coordinated with the changes in the aggregation-dissociation states of honey colloidal particles upon dilution. In all cases, these changes were nonlinear, assuming an inverted U-shaped dose-response curve. At the curve maximum, the production of H2 O2 and antibacterial activity reached the peak. The curve maximum signaled the minimum honey concentration required for the phase separation. With phase transition from two-phase colloidal condense state to dilute state dispersion, the change to opposite effects of dilution on these honey's activities occurred. Thus, the colloidal structure strongly influences bioactivity of honey compounds and affects its antibacterial activity.