The components of honey include levulose, dextrose, invertase, amylase, some of the B vitamins, vitamin C, flavonoids and various organic compounds. Honey contains 24 known sugars, and its composition is 80 percent carbohydrates.
High concentrations of fructose, glucose, sucrose, maltose and other sugars give honey most of its physical properties including high density, high viscosity and resistance to spoilage. Darker honeys have higher concentrations of nitrogen and ash than lighter honeys. Higher concentrations of these components reflect greater concentrations of proteins, amino acids and mineral salts.
Honey has over 18 free amino acids including proline which aids in collagen production. It also contains antioxidants called flavonoids, one of which is pinocembrin. Pinocembrin is only found in honey, bee propolis and damiana and can improve cognitive function, according to research. The State Food and Drug Administration of China has approved pinocembrin for treating stroke patients, and research shows that pinocembrin protects against neural toxcity from beta-amyloid peptides, a marker for the progression of Alzheimer's.
There are two main types of honey: floral and honeydew. Bees produce floral honey when they have consumed flowers. Honeydew honey is produced when the bees have consumed honeydew, a sugary liquid secreted by aphids. The two types have slightly different compositions. Floral honey has higher average values of levulose, dextrose and sucrose. Honeydew honey has higher total acidity and higher values of ash, nitrogen and diatase.