Setting International standards for propolis

The international trade of propolis and its recognition as raw material for food and pharmaceutical applications relies on a global recognition of its specifications. Its potential as a source for natural substances and its high biological activity are well documented and do not raise any doubt, nevertheless it requires the establishment of clear parameters to certify its composition and quality. To fulfill these needs, the international community, thought ISO, established a working group on propolis, within the subcommittee on bee products ISO/TC 34/SC 19. With 62 international participants from 17 countries, the publication of the international standard is expected by October 2022, and is planned to established consensual terms, including the definition of poplar, baccharis and dalbergia/clusia propolis, analytical method for propolis analysis, quality parameters specifications, and requirements for packing, labeling, storage and transportation. The undergoing work is now at a critical stage where the analytical protocols, which will lead to the setting up of the quality requirements, are being refined and subject to an interlaboratorial trial to check for consistency and robustness. The definition of minimum/maximum for each parameter will be the final stage before concluding the working draft stage required for international approval.
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