10 October 2007

Partially inverted beekeeping

Tasting the Waxy Beelegs Honey reminds me - in part because of its consistency - of Golden Syrup.
Would bees like syrup as a feed, I wonder? Could they even digest something that has, effecively, been pre-digested for them?
Consider the following from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invertase):

"Invertase (EC ) (systematic name: beta-fructofuranosidase) is a sucrase enzyme. It catalyzes the hydrolysis (breakdown) of sucrose (table sugar) to fructose and glucose, usually in the form of inverted sugar syrup. For industrial use, invertase is usually derived from yeast. It is also synthesized by bees, who use it to make honey from nectar. Invertase is expensive, so when fructose is required, it may be preferable to make it from glucose using glucose isomerase."

British Sugar's site (http://www.britishsugar.co.uk/RVE8c65eef1771741df814105fe91a6a687,,.aspx) on Golden Syrup says "The term ‘invert’ originates from the effect on the polarimeter instrument traditionally used to analyse sucrose solutions. Compared to pure sucrose, a mixture of glucose and fructose "inverts" the plane of polarised light, and so this is known as invert syrup."
The pic is from Tate & Lyle (http://www.tateandlyle.com/).

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