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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 4024721, 6 pages
Research Article

Antioxidant Activity of a Geopropolis from Northeast Brazil: Chemical Characterization and Likely Botanical Origin

1Departamento de Ciências Animais, Universidade Federal Rural do Semi-Árido, Mossoró, RN, Brazil
2Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Antonio Salatino;

Received 30 May 2017; Revised 27 September 2017; Accepted 8 October 2017; Published 31 October 2017

Academic Editor: Kuttulebbai N. S. Sirajudeen

Copyright © 2017 Joselena M. Ferreira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Geopropolis is a product containing wax, plant resin, and soil particles. It is elaborated by stingless bees of tribe Meliponini. Methanol extracts of sample of geopropolis produced by Scaptotrigona postica (“mandaguari”) in the state of Rio Grande do Norte (RN, northeast Brazil) were analyzed for the determination of standard parameters (total phenols, total flavonoids, and radical scavenging activity) and chemical characterization by HPLC-DAD-MS/MS analysis. The sample analyzed has high contents of total phenols and flavonoids, as well as high antioxidant activity. The constituents characterized were mainly flavonols, such as quercetin methyl ethers, and methoxychalcones. Such chemical profile is similar to the composition of a green propolis from the same area of RN, which is produced by Africanized Apis mellifera, using shoot apices of Mimosa tenuiflora, popularly known as “jurema-preta.” This finding provides evidence that “mandaguari” geopropolis and honeybee propolis have the same botanical origin in RN. The sharing of a plant resin source by phylogenetically distant bees (Apinae and Meliponinae) suggests that bee genetic factors play little role in the choice of plants for resin collection and that the availability of potential botanical sources plays a decisive role.