JOHOR BARU: A green-coloured honey from Sabah has higher chlorophyll as well as exceptional nutrient contents not found in any other local honey, according to a professor.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) science lecturer Prof Dr Fahrul Huyop said darker-coloured honey had a high content of amino acids, the main ingredient for building collagen.

“What is interesting about this green-coloured honey is that it can be found underground instead of on tree branches or other higher places.

“The honey comes from the bees of the genus Apis, which is one of Sabah’s natural sources from Banggi Island in northern Borneo,” he said here yesterday.

Prof Fahrul, who led a team of researchers to study Bornean green honey, said studies done on this type of honey had its quality and validity proven.

“The commercial value of honey depends on the colour whereas honey in the market is usually brightly coloured like golden yellow, which gets more attention from buyers than the darker honey does.

“But in terms of nutrition, darker honey has a high content of antioxidants, which is good for the human body.

“Interestingly, the green colour of this bee honey from Sabah is also associated with its high chlorophyll as well as having extraordinary nutrients that are not found in any other local honey such as tualang, gelam and kelulut honey,” he explained.

Prof Fahrul added that UTM, through its bioscience and chemistry departments, was working together with NS Field Sdn Bhd to conduct research on the Bornean green honey.

He said the team consisted of other UTM lecturers and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) food science and nutrition specialists as well as students.

The collaboration between UTM and NS Field was carried out to convince the public of the quality and authenticity of green honey products, he said.

“This study, which we have conducted for more than a year, has yielded good results for the local honey industry.

“The findings of this study can improve the understanding of most of the biodiversity of micro-organisms in green honey; it reveals various types of micro-organisms that exist as well as metabolic processes that occur in the community.”

He said the team would carry out a further study on the honey to strengthen their findings.

Prof Fahrul said such information was useful for consumers who were increasingly concerned about the quality of nutrition in the food they consumed.

“This will also increase the potential and popularity of the honey industry from Sabah and a symbol of biodiversity richness that can build up the socio-economy of the community there,” he added.