[Source: PLoS One, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
OPEN ACCESS / PEER-REVIEWED / RESEARCH ARTICLE
Microbial characterization of bee pollen from the Vesuvius area collected by using three different traps
Gianluigi Mauriello , Annachiara De Prisco, Gennaro Di Prisco, Antonietta La Storia, Emilio Caprio
Published: September 21, 2017 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183208
Flower pollen is collected by honeybee foragers, adhered on their rear legs and transported into the hives in the form of pellets. Once in the hives, bee pollen is moisturised with nectar and bee mouth secretions and due to enzymatically modifications it becomes the so-called bee-bread, the protein reservoir of young bees. Bee pollen can be artificially removed from bee legs and collected by using specific systems, the bee pollen traps. Bee pollen is commercialized for human consumption as fresh product and after freezing or drying. Although bee pollen is nowadays largely consumed in developed countries, as food or food supplement according to local legislation, little is known on its safety related to microbiological hazards. In this work, we aimed to characterize for the first time the microbiological profile of Italian bee pollen in fresh, frozen and dried form collected along an entire harvesting season. Moreover, monthly microbiological analyses were performed on frozen (storage at -18°C) and dried (storage at room temperature) bee pollen over a 4 months period. Further aim of this work was the evaluation of the possible impact on production level of three different traps used for pollen collection. Our results on microbial contamination of fresh and frozen bee pollen show that a more comprehensive microbiological risk assessment of bee pollen is required. On the other side, dried pollen showed very low microbial contamination and no pathogen survived after the drying process and during storage.
Citation: Mauriello G, De Prisco A, Di Prisco G, La Storia A, Caprio E (2017) Microbial characterization of bee pollen from the Vesuvius area collected by using three different traps. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0183208. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183208
Editor: Massimiliano Galdiero, Seconda Universita degli Studi di Napoli, ITALY
Received: August 31, 2016; Accepted: July 20, 2017; Published: September 21, 2017
Copyright: © 2017 Mauriello et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Data Availability: Sequencing data were deposited in the GeneBank database of the NCBI (accession numbers are reported in Table 5).
Funding: The authors received no specific funding for this work.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
Keywords: Bees; Bacterial Contamination; Bee Pollen.