Stingless bee honey: an overview of health benefits and main market challenges

Tatiana Colombo Pimentel, Michele Rosset, Janaina Maria Batista de Sousa, Louise Iara Gomes de Oliveira, Isis Meireles Mafaldo, Maria Manuela Estevez Pintado, Evandro Leite de Souza, Marciane Magnani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This review aimed to evaluate the nutraceutical and medicinal effects of stingless bee honey (SBH) by bringing a discussion focused on the main known in vitro/in vivo health-promoting effects. SBH has a high-water content, slight sweetness, acidic flavor, fluid texture, and slow crystallization. The type and concentration of phenolic compounds and consequent antioxidant activity were mainly associated with the floral sources, geographical location, bee species, and processing steps. SBH has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (against spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms), anti-diabetic, and skin aging delay activities in in vitro tests. It has also shown antioxidant and hypolipidemic effects, can protect from injuries caused by dyslipidemia, possess anti-inflammatory activity against chronic subclinical systemic inflammation and anti-diabetic properties, and can control and prevent Staphylococcus aureus infection on infected wound healings in in vivo tests (rats). However, clinical trials are crucial for the probation of the medicinal and nutraceutical properties of SBH. Despite this, there are still no general norms and/or quality standards for this type of honey. The information summarized in this review is important to add value to this little-consumed food, providing helpful information to spread knowledge about its benefits, assisting future studies, and raising perspectives for its recognition as a functional food. Furthermore, it may encourage the creation of standard quality for the production and marketing of SBH. Practical applications: Previous studies have already summarized the chemical profile and physicochemical properties of stingless bee honey (SBH) and its potential health properties. However, no study has performed an overview of the potential nutraceutical and medicinal effects of SBH, presenting results from in vitro and in vivo investigations. Therefore, this review is the first study to overview the potential nutraceutical and medicinal effects of SBH, showing results of in vitro/in vivo health-promoting effects. The bioactivity of SBH is related to bee species and floral sources. The SBH has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, and antioxidant in vitro activity. It has also shown hypolipidemic effects and protection from injuries caused by dyslipidemia in rats.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13883
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Food Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Melipona
  • Trigona
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antimicrobial activity
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Health benefits


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