Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)

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Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)
  • Method Used
  • LOD (level of detection)
    1 mg/kg
  • Standard Turnaround Time
    10 working days

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is an organic compound derived from dehydration of certain sugars. HMF is generally absent in fresh honey, but is formed during heating, conditioning and storage. Fera can measure HMF levels in a range of food products, including honey.

HMF can be used as an indicator for excess heat-treatment in many food products, such as honey, fruit juice, UHT-milk, jams, alcoholic products and biscuits. Fera conducts analysis of samples with high-performance liquid chromatography with UV detection (HPLC-UV), with detection down to 1 mg/kg.

In honey HMF is a quality marker, Annex II of Council Directive 2001/110/EC lays down composition criteria for honey, including HMF content (determined after processing and blending). HMF is limited to 40 mg/kg in general (except baker’s honey, which is exempt), and 80 mg/kg in honey declared to be from a tropical region.

Fresh honey generally contains less than 15mg/kg HMF, but over 40 mg/kg is used to guarantee the honey has not undergone excessive heating during processing. Fera’s HPLC-UV method can accurately quantify levels of HMF to prove your products satisfy these criteria. Fera’s testing for HMF can be used accurately as a quality guide, aiding consumer trust in your product by verifying quality claims. Testing can also aid wholesalers and retailers, by ensuring the authenticity of the products at any point in the supply chain and providing evidence products offered for sale are true-to-label.

Manuka Honey Authenticity, Quad Package

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is also a component in our quad test for manuka honey authenticity, which also includes: Methylglyoxal (MGO), Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), and Leptosperin.

Submitting your Sample

When submitting your sample please include the food sample submission form to allow us to process your samples efficiently. Failure to send a sample submission form may result in a delay of your sample being tested.

Download the food sample submission form here.






ISO17025 for Food Samples

Sample Information


Minimum Sample Quantity (Batch Size)


Level of Detection (LOD)

1 mg/kg

Turnaround Time

10 working days

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