Quality assurance systems

Altıparmak applies the ISO 22000:2005 and BRC (British Retail Consortium) Food Safety Management Systems, as well as the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems. The effective application of these systems in all operations and the evaluation of their efficiency is the responsibility of the R&D and Quality Assurance Department. Additionally, studies are being conducted for the laboratory accreditation compliant with the ISO/IEC standard nr.17025.

The ISO/IEC 17025 standard states that sufficiency experiments and comparison measurements determine the quality of experiment results. Our laboratory undergoes the international FAPAS-FEPAS, as well as the National Metrology Institute Sufficiency Tests. These tests are important performance criteria for the evaluation of the technical sufficiency of the laboratory.

Laboratory

The Altıparmak Food Analysis Laboratory was founded in 1986 within the R&D and Quality Assurance department. With its expertise of 25 years and its experienced staff, it is the most advanced honey lab in Turkey and ranks within the top four in Europe. Within the laboratory where over 65 different parameters can be analyzed using organoleptic, chemical, analytical, microscopic and microbiological methods, using modern technology and high capacity.

The composition of honey should be analyzed to determine its quality and the processes it went through. Today, through analyses done in an appropriate laboratory, it is highly possible to determine the composition of honey and have an idea about the processes it went through. All these analyses can be conducted in the Altıparmak laboratory, thereby the purity and quality of the honey that are supplied from different regions of Turkey can be ensured.

To determine the quality and purity of the honey, chemical and physical properties such as humidity, acidity, proline, enzyme activity are analyzed, and with the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) system, it is possible to detect any additives in honey.

The Altıparmak laboratory, thanks to its broad residue analysis capability, can detect naphthalene, antibiotics and pesticides with a sensitivity of one billionth.

It is also possible to detect the origin of honey, i.e. from which plants and regions it is obtained from, in the Altıparmak laboratory. For that purpose, the flavor, taste, smell and texture properties of the products can be detected using the "Descriptive Organoleptic Analysis Technique" and the analysis of the aromatic substances. Moreover, the pollen and starch content of honey can be determined using microscopic methods.

The laboratory also conducts all the routine hygiene controls for the production facilities, packaging and the staff through microbiological tests.

The results obtained in the Altıparmak laboratory are interpreted and reported by an expert team of 15 employees, consisting of food and agriculture engineers, chemists, biologists and technicians. Therefore, any misapplications (counterfeiting, additives, residue, etc.) can be detected at the purchasing of the honey.

The results obtained with its 25 years experience are shared through scientific papers and presentations to the science community at domestic and international congresses and symposiums.

Quality control system

In order to be able to determine all the misapplications, Altıparmak quality control and honey purchases are done as follows:

In the honey season every year, samples are taken from the products of the beekeepers by the Altıparmak suppliers in every region of Turkey. These samples are sent to the Altıparmak laboratory. Every sample is analyzed to determine the applications done by the beekeeper (whether or not the bees were fed on syrup, addition of syrup directly into the honey, application of veterinary medicals to bees, etc.). If the samples of the beekeepers are healthy and natural according to analysis results, they are approved for purchase. The products that are purchased are subject to the same analyses in order to ensure their conformity with the previously sent samples.

Each lot of honey arriving at the warehouse is analyzed again prior to packaging and the analysis results of every lot, i.e. its content, is completely documented. Balparmak products are analyzed three times prior to being offered to the consumers, therefore its quality is ensured.

Chemical and Physical Analysis
• Humidity
• Free Acidity
• Diastase
• HMF
• Proline
• Color
• Electrical Conductivity
• Glucose
• Fructose
• Sucrose
• Maltose
• Turanose
• Erlose
• Melezitose
• Maltotriose
• Trehalose
• İzomaltose
• Total Disaccharides
• Higher Saccharides
• Fructose/Glucose Ratio
• Glucose/Water Ratio
• %C4 sugars
• Ethanol
• Glycerol
• Aromatic Substances

Organoleptic Analysis
• Appearance
• Taste
• Texture
• Odor

Microscopic Analysis
• Pollen Identification
• Starch/Pollen Ratio
• Total Pollen Count
• Honeydew Element/Pollen
Residue Analysis
• Naphtalene
• Oxytetracycline
• Tetracycline
• Chlortetracycline
• Doxycycline
• Sulfaguanidine
• Sulfanilamide
• Sulfacetamide
• Sulfadiazine
• Sulfathiazole
• Sulfamerazine
• Sulfamethazine (Sulfadimidine)
• Sulfamethoxazole
• Sulfadoxine
• Sulfamethoxypridazine
• Sulfaquinoxaline
• Sulfadimethoxine
• Dihydro-streptomycine
• Streptomycine
• AOZ
• AMOZ
• SEM
• AHD
• Chloramphenicol
• Ciprofloxacin
• Norfloxacin
• Enrofloxacin
• Marbofloxacin
• Danofloxacin
• Difloxacin
• Flumequine
• Ofloxacin
• Sarafloxacin
• Oxolinic acid
Microbiological Analysis
• Total Count
• Yeast
• Mold
• E. Coli
• Coliform
• Staphylococcus aureus

Water Analysis
• Free Chlorine
• Nitrate
• Nitrite
• Ammonium
• pH