Volume 58, Issue 10 p. 5549-5556
Original article

The beeswax processing by-product: a potential antibacterial ingredient for food and nutraceutical applications

Gregorio Peron

Corresponding Author

Gregorio Peron

Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy

Department of Molecular and Translational Medicine (DMMT), University of Brescia, Viale Europa 11, 25123 Brescia, Italy

Correspondent: E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Contribution: Data curation (equal), ​Investigation (equal), Methodology (equal), Software (lead), Writing - original draft (equal)

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Nádia Alessandra Carmo dos Santos

Nádia Alessandra Carmo dos Santos

Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy

Contribution: ​Investigation (equal), Methodology (equal), Writing - original draft (equal)

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Irene Ferrarese

Irene Ferrarese

Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 5, 35131 Padova, Italy

Contribution: ​Investigation (equal)

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Filippo Rizzo

Filippo Rizzo

Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy

Contribution: ​Investigation (equal)

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Giulia Bernabè

Giulia Bernabè

Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, Via Gabelli 63, 35121 Padova, Italy

Contribution: Data curation (equal), ​Investigation (equal), Methodology (equal)

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Michela Paccagnella

Michela Paccagnella

Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 5, 35131 Padova, Italy

Contribution: ​Investigation (equal), Methodology (equal)

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Marina Panozzo

Marina Panozzo

Rigoni di Asiago S.r.l., Via Oberdan 28, 36012 Asiago, Vicenza, Italy

Contribution: Conceptualization (equal), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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Stefano Francescato

Stefano Francescato

Unifarco S.p.a., Via Cal Longa 62, 32035 Santa Giustina, Belluno, Italy

Contribution: Validation (equal), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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Ignazio Castagliuolo

Ignazio Castagliuolo

Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Padova, Via Gabelli 63, 35121 Padova, Italy

Contribution: Data curation (equal), Formal analysis (equal), Supervision (equal)

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Stefano Dall'Acqua

Stefano Dall'Acqua

Department of Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences, University of Padova, Via Marzolo 5, 35131 Padova, Italy

Contribution: Data curation (equal), Formal analysis (equal), Methodology (equal), Resources (equal), Supervision (equal)

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Maurizio Selva

Maurizio Selva

Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy

Contribution: Formal analysis (equal), Funding acquisition (equal), Project administration (equal), Supervision (equal), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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Alvise Perosa

Corresponding Author

Alvise Perosa

Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30172 Venezia Mestre, Italy

Correspondent: E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

Contribution: Conceptualization (equal), Funding acquisition (equal), Project administration (equal), Resources (equal), Supervision (equal), Writing - review & editing (equal)

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First published: 24 May 2023
Citations: 1

Summary

The purification of raw beeswax by melting produces a semi-solid beeswax by-product (BBR) composed by honey, resins and other constituents that is usually considered as a waste. In this article, the chemical characterisation of BBR is reported, with the aim to valorise this by-product following the principles of the circular economy. Carbohydrates, hydrocarbons and minerals were among the main constituents. Flavonoids and phenolic acids represent 1.5% of the BBR, and their qualitative profile resembles the propolis. To assess its potential usefulness, the BBR was tested against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria of clinical interest, and results were compared with the raw propolis. Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica were inhibited at concentrations ≥ 0.001 mg mL−1, while Enterococcus faecalis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus from 0.01 mg mL−1. Only BBR was active on Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Below the concentration of 1 mg mL−1, no significant toxicity on Caco2 cells was observed. These results indicate that the BBR presents a polyphenol composition similar to propolis and a significant antibacterial activity. Thus, on the basis of these results, we suggest that the BBR can represent a sustainable alternative to propolis as food preservative or nutraceutical.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway/wos/peer-review/10.1111/ijfs.16520.

Data availability statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available on request from the corresponding author.