The presence of antibiotics in honey or in any other food is problematic because they may produce residues in foodstuffs and present risks to human health, for example, by causing allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance in humans , toxic effects and damage to the central nervous system [2,3]. For these reasons, the use of antimicrobial compounds in food-producing animals has been banned or restricted by many countries, and no market authorisation may be obtained without maximum residue limits (MRL). Oxytetracycline (OTC) is a broad-spectrum antibiotic belonging to tetracycline family. These molecules act inhibiting the protein synthesis of a wide range of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and microorganisms like chlamydiae, mycoplasmas, rickettsiae, and protozoan parasites . Australia, Indian, American and the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) have set MRL for only oxytetracycline in honey at 300 ppb [5-7]. Whereas, in the European Union regulation No 37/2010, no maximum residue limit (MRL) for tetracycline in honey has been set . There are several methods for antibiotic determination in honey, among there we can mention: High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), fluorescent sensors, ELISA immunoassays, electrophoretic methods and square wave voltammetry with cathodic redissolution. HPLC is a widely used method in analytical chemistry and particularly in the detection of antibiotics in honey, this technique could be combined with UV-visible, fluorometric or mass detectors .
The objective of this study was to detect the OTC residue level in the final product and to find a way to reduce it. The OTC during 2 years (2018 and 2019) in honey were detected in the samples that collected from Palestinian market (Jenin and Ramallah), by using HPLC-UV method, with C8 analytical column, consisting of acetonitrile-0.02 M oxalic acid as a mobile phase. The samples were extract by solid phase extraction clean up .
The results demonstrated that from 25 sample that collected during 2018 from Jenin, 9 products were containing OTC in the range (862.1-2177.2 ppb), while 4 products from 25 samples collected from Ramallah have been containing OTC in rage (212.6-5460.1 ppb). However, in 2019 only 1 products from each city (Jenin and Ramallah) were OTC value were less than 350 ppb. The decreasing the amounts and OTC residue values of products from 2018 to 2019, this due to the increasing the knowledge of bee farmers during this project.