The botanical origin of seven types of Slovenian honey was investigated by analysis
of their elemental content using k0-instrumental neutron activation analysis. A total
of 28 representative samples were collected from beekeepers all over Slovenia in 2
consecutive years. Nineteen of the 37 elements measured were present in amounts above
their LOD. The present study suggests that the determination of only alkali elements
might be sufficient for the classification of Slovenian honeys according to their
botanical origin. Linden and multifloral honeys can be differentiated on the basis
of Na content. The differentiation of forest, spruce, and fir honeys is possible on
the basis of differences in Cs, K, and Rb content. The difference between Na and Rb
content can be used as a discriminating tool between light and dark honeys, because
light honeys (black locust, linden, and multifloral) contained more Na than Rb, whereas
it was the opposite for dark honeys (chestnut, forest, spruce, and fir). Statistically
significant correlations were found between K and Rb and between K and Cs content.
This study represents a considerable step in filling the knowledge gap concerning
both the determination of elements present in low concentrations and the botanical
origin of Slovenian honey.