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Quality about Propolis

Production and Consumption

Official records on current world propolis production are not available, although it was estimated that in 1984 approximately 200 tonnes was traded on the world market (Crane, 1990.) Major producers include China, Brazil, Australia and Uruguay.
Japan is a major consumer of propolis. In 1995, the total retail market for propolis products was estimated to be ¥20 million (NZ$282 million) (TRADENZ, 1995). Annual New Zealand consumption is estimated at 9.9 million.
In Belgium, our compagnie has been the market leader of propolis production since the early 90's.
Recently we also started a second branch in Moncton, N.B. Canada.

Food Safety

Because of its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, microbial contamination is not considered to be a problem with propolis, either in the raw form, or as extracts.
Concentrations of lead above maximum allowable levels for food products have been found in propolis. Studies have shown that lead levels may be reduced by placement of hives away from areas with heavy air pollution and the use of oil based paints on hive parts (Alcici, 1996). Propolis destined for commercial use should be routinely tested for lead concentration.

The propolis we use to manufacture our products is harvested in low-populated, densely forested areas in eastern Canada (N.B.) with very low, almost no, airpolution.
All other materials used in the production are based on enviromentaly-friendly materials.
We profile ourself as a green company with the preservation and protection of nature and of the entire enviroment in mind.

Propolis is a stable product, but should nevertheless be stored in airtight containers in the dark, preferably away from excessive and direct heat.
Propolis does not lose much of its antibiotic properties, even when stored for 12 months or longer.
Propolis and its extract function as a mild preservative due to their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and thus may actually prolong the shelf life of some products (Krell, 1996).

The antioxidant, antimicrobial and antifungal activities of propolis also offer opportunities in food technology.
In Japan, the use of propolis is permitted as a preservative in frozen fish (Krell, 1996).

Quality Control

No international standards exist for propolis. Official standards exist for propolis in several East European countries. Maximum and minimum limits for certain chemicals are set, but few standardised tests are available to determine the biological activities of various components. Standards are currently being developed for propolis in the United Kingdom.

Our company here in Canada and in Belgium are under strict controle of the National Food and Health Organisation and Administration and comply with all the hygiene, health and quality regulations that are set for the food industrie.