Research Article

Amino acid composition of royal jelly harvested at different times after larval transfer

Published: August 12, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8306 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15038306
Cite this Article:
(2016). Amino acid composition of royal jelly harvested at different times after larval transfer. Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8306. https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15038306
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Abstract

The amino acids in royal jelly (RJ) have a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting functions in humans. Multiple studies on the amino acid quality and composition in RJ have investigated RJ harvested at 72 h after larval transfer. In contrast, the concentration of amino acids in RJ harvested before 72 h remains unknown. In this study, the concentration of free amino acids (FAAs) and total amino acids (TAAs) in RJ harvested at 13 time points between 24 and 72 h after transfer of ten Apis mellifera colonies were measured. Our results indicated that the most abundant FAAs were Pro, Phe, Lys, Glu, and Tyr, whereas the most abundant TAAs were Asp, Glu, Leu, Lys, and Val. The total FAA concentration in RJ increased with increasing harvest time, from 4.30 mg/g at 24 h to 9.48 mg/g at 72 h. In contrast, the variation in concentration of TAAs observed was a decrease-increase-decrease trend with 40 h (149.53 mg/g) and 52 h (169.62 mg/g) as inflection points. The highest and lowest concentrations of TAA were 197.96 and 121.32 mg/g at 24 and 72 h, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the concentration changes of FAAs and TAAs prior to 72 h after transfer. Our results will provide theoretical support to guide production practices of beekeeping, as well as elucidate the relationship between the harvest time point and RJ content.

The amino acids in royal jelly (RJ) have a wide range of pharmacological and health-promoting functions in humans. Multiple studies on the amino acid quality and composition in RJ have investigated RJ harvested at 72 h after larval transfer. In contrast, the concentration of amino acids in RJ harvested before 72 h remains unknown. In this study, the concentration of free amino acids (FAAs) and total amino acids (TAAs) in RJ harvested at 13 time points between 24 and 72 h after transfer of ten Apis mellifera colonies were measured. Our results indicated that the most abundant FAAs were Pro, Phe, Lys, Glu, and Tyr, whereas the most abundant TAAs were Asp, Glu, Leu, Lys, and Val. The total FAA concentration in RJ increased with increasing harvest time, from 4.30 mg/g at 24 h to 9.48 mg/g at 72 h. In contrast, the variation in concentration of TAAs observed was a decrease-increase-decrease trend with 40 h (149.53 mg/g) and 52 h (169.62 mg/g) as inflection points. The highest and lowest concentrations of TAA were 197.96 and 121.32 mg/g at 24 and 72 h, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the concentration changes of FAAs and TAAs prior to 72 h after transfer. Our results will provide theoretical support to guide production practices of beekeeping, as well as elucidate the relationship between the harvest time point and RJ content.