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Royal jelly, also called royal jelly, is a product of animal origin, secreted exclusively by nurse worker bees, therefore between the 5th and 14th day of adult life, as secretion of some glands placed on their head.
It is a protein substance, light yellow in colour, with a characteristic smell and an acidulous-sweet taste.
It is a food administered to all the young larvae up to the third day of life and later reserved only to those which will have to become queen bees, whilst the others (future males and workers) will receive a mixture of honey and pollen.
Bearing in mind that a queen has a life cycle of more than five years, while a worker of about 45 days (90 bees born in late summer that have to carry the family until the following spring), the difference is determined essentially by the feeding of the queen bee
The main constituents of royal jelly are water, proteins, sugars, lipids and mineral salts. Although there are considerable variations, the composition of the real gelatine remains relatively constant by comparing different hives.
Thewatercomposes about two thirds of the real fresh gelatine but analyzing the dry weight, proteins and sugars are by far the most represented fractions.
proteins comprise on average 73.9% by weight, a large part of which in the form of amino acids, both free and combined. All eight essential amino acids for humans are present.
sugar mainly comprise fructose and glucose in relatively constant proportions, similar to their content in honey, therefore fructose prevails. In many cases fructose and glucose together represent 90% of the total sugars while the sucrose content varies considerably from one sample to another.
The content of lipid is, in many ways, a very interesting feature of real gelatin. The lipid fraction consists of 80-90% by weight of free fatty acids with unusual and rare molecular structures. They are mainly hydroxy or short-chain dicarboxylic fatty acids commonly found in food of animal and plant origin.
These fatty acids are responsible for most of the biological properties associated with real gelatin.
The mineral salts contained in greater quantities are, in descending order, K, Ca, Na, Zn, Fe, Cu and Mn, with a strong prevalence of potassium.
The vitamins present in large quantities are Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Nicotinamide (B3 or PP), Pantothenic Acid (B5), Pyridoxine (B6), Mesoisositol (B7), Biotin (Be or H), folic acid (B9). Present in very small quantities are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E.
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