Objective: The quality of fifteen commercial pot-honeys produced by "abeja de tierra" Trigona fuscipennis, "bermejo" Melipona mimetica, and "catiana" Scaptotrigona ederi stingless bees in Ecuador was evaluated for ash, free acidity, hydroxymethylfurfural, reducing sugars, and sucrose and water contents. These pot-honeys were also described for their visual viscosity, color, smell, aroma, dominant taste and other physiological sensations in the mouth.Method: Fifteen pot-honeys were purchased in El Oro, Loja and Manabí Ecuadorian provinces. Acceptance was done on six honeys with 40 assessors using a 10 cm unstructured line scale anchored with the expressions 'like' expressions. Sensory dominant taste, visual appearance, smell, and aroma (using the odor-aroma table for pothoney) and other physiological sensations were described. Measurements of ash content were done by gravimetric method, free acidity by potentiometric method, hydroxymethylfurfural by spectrophotometric method, reducing sugars and sucrose by cuprimetric method, and moisture by the refractometric method.Results: Pot-honey produced by Trigona is the most different from Apis mellifera with free acidity some 12-20 times higher than the maximum of 40 meq/kg, double water content of the maximum 20 g/100 g, and a third of the minimum 65 g/100 g of reducing sugars. Pot-honey produced by Melipona and Scaptotrigona may fulfill Apis mellifera standards, with a slightly higher moisture up to 27.88 g/100 g and free acidity up to 76.77 g/100 g, but lower contents of reducing sugars (50.75-63.38) g/100 g. Sucrose content of pot-honey produced by Trigona, Melipona and Scaptotrigona is lower than 5 g/100 g in the Apis mellifera honey standards. Smell and aroma were more "floral" for Melipona, "citrusy" for Trigona and "pollen" for Scaptotrigona pot-honey.
Conclusion:Compositional and sensory data on pot-honey is a contribution to the database of the revised Ecuadorian honey standards NTE INEN 1572, and will eventually support the inclusion of standards in a new pothoney norm.