BACKGROUND Adulteration is defined as the intentional addition of a material that is not a part of the nature. In this study, a non-conventional time domain nuclear magnetic resonance (TD-NMR) pulse sequence: magic sandwich echo (MSE) was used to detect the adulteration of honey by glucose syrup (GS) and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) accompanied with T-1 and T-2 relaxation times. Also, fast field cycling NMR (FFC-NMR) relaxometry and multivariate analysis were performed to investigate the adulteration. RESULTS Higher maltose in GS and changing glucose to water ratio of HFCS gave high correlation with the crystal content values. In HFCS adulteration, two separate populations of protons having different T-2 values were detected and T-1 times were also used to determine GS adulteration. Addition of GS increased T-1 while addition of HFCS increased T-2, significantly. CONCLUSION The results showed that it is possible to differentiate the unadulterated and adulterated honey samples by using TD-NMR relaxation times and crystal content values obtained by the MSE sequence. By FFC-NMR relaxometry, not only GS addition but also the amount of GS was examined. The multivariate analysis technique of principal component analysis was able to distinguish the types of adulterants. (c) 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.