This a short informative piece on Honey! Oh Honey! We absolutely love this liquid gold made by our friends the bumble bees…..
While on the whole, honey is associated with goodness and purity of nature, India consumers are prone to believe many myths about the honey. The most popular myth regarding honey in Indian consumers is that “the honey that crystallizes is not pure” which is quite opposite to reality.
The facts around Honey Crystallization –
When your honey crystallizes, it’s a sign that you have purchased an authentic and natural product. Crystallization occurs because of the natural qualities inside. The natural sugars in honey (glucose and fructose) will bind together and begin to form little crystals, which can start making your honey harder. With differing blends, some honey will begin to crystallize faster than others. The pollen in honey also contributes to this binding process. The bits of pollen remaining provide a platform for the crystals to begin forming. But pollen is important and is prevalent in 100% pure honey. While it might mean less shelf appeal because the honey looks solid, keeping pollen in honey means you’re getting a real product made by bees.
Can I consume Crystallized Honey?
Crystallized honey is still honey! It’s perfectly safe to eat and doesn’t mean that your honey has gone bad. In fact, it’s just the opposite! It means that your honey is natural and oh so good! You can take advantage of the hard, crystallized honey and love its complex texture. Try loading it onto your toast, biscuit or bagel and enjoy the sweetness of honey without the drip. You can also mix it into oatmeal, salads and sandwiches or anywhere you want a bite full of honey sweetness.
You can still eat and cook with crystallized honey exactly as you normally would. It will melt into your hot drinks and into your baked dishes, just like liquid honey.
I have purchased honey from the big brands at a very reasonable price and haven’t seen any crystallization in them? What is the reason?
As per the researchers from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), many top commercial honey brands in India are selling honey adulterated with a modified sugar from China, which can bypass some of the basic tests used to detect adulterated honey. Cheapest commercially available sugar produced from cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrups, and potato syrups are among the most commonly used sweet syrups in honey. This is a serious economic and regulatory problem. As usual, the losers are the consumers. Sugar cane and maize/corn are tropical plants and they produce sugars via a slightly different biochemical pathway than that used by nectar bearing plants.
Apart from that, the big brands process honey at nano scale which reduces every possibility of honey getting crystallised. Processing of honey is necessary to avoid foreign bodies but filtering at nano scale denatures it and all the essential pollen grains required for human body are removed.
Therefore, if the honey doesn’t crystallises even after refrigeration, then it has been ultra-filtered.
What can I do as a consumer to make sure that I buy pure honey?
The first thing you should do before buying a jar of honey is read the label and check that the ingredient list does not contain ‘high-fructose corn syrup’ or commercial glucose, two additives that are frequently used to ‘stretch’ the honey and keep it from solidifying.
All honey is liquid, but with time they tend to solidify, or ‘crystallize’ into a substance resembling grains of sugar. Addition of artificial sugars allows honey to stay in a liquid state for a long duration of time. If you buy a jar of honey that is already crystallized, it is pure. If your honey is liquid, you can wait a few days to see if it solidifies or throw it in the fridge to accelerate the process. If the honey never crystallizes, there is a high probability that it is adulterated honey.
We at My Pahadi Dukan only work with partners who bring the purest, most pristine and untouched honey from the forests of the mountains!
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Take me to the Honey!