Benefits of Honey Masthead

Honey Types and Uses Q&A

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Here's a collection of questions related to different types of honey and honey uses that visitors of Benefits of Honey have asked via the Just Ask Page

Check out if these answer your most pressing question.

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Question: Why aren't out there certifiers to approve that a honey is real mono floral?

Reply: In terms of health benefits, it is not critical for honey to be derived from one single floral source. So long as the honey is 100% pure, unadulterated, multi-floral honey is just is good and precious. There are no clear regulations and laws on how honey should be certified for purity and authenticity. Also, honey certification by labs and institutions means extra cost involved, not all consumers are willing to pay more, especially when they could get honey direct from bee farms or beekeepers whom they trust.

Question: What does it mean if honey is irradiated?

Reply: Irradiated honey has undergone a process of ionized radiation whereby the honey is exposed to a high level of radiation to kill any possible bacteria, botulism spores, and prolong its shelf life. Like pasterisation, irradiation destroys some essential vitamins and minerals in the honey. It is a process that is much more commonly found in the packaging of spices than for honey, which is rarely exposed to bacteria risk.

Question: Is there such a thing as sugar free honey? How do I make it?

Reply: You wouldn't want to eat it becasue sugar-free honey isn't honey.

Question: Is there such a thing as sugar free honey? How do I make it?

Reply: You wouldn't want to eat it because sugar-free honey isn't honey.

Question: I have some honey that has started crystallising, is it to late to cream it? If not how do I cream it?

Reply: Creaming honey can be a very tricky process as the success rate depends on many factors such as type of honey, viscosity, how much of it has granulated, temperature etc. You may want to check out this video on creaming honey using the Dyce method.

Question: I just made some creamed honey using wildflower raw honey and SueBee spoon starter honey. Outside air temperature is in the 90'S for past two weeks and I have used crisper in our fridge to speed up the process. My question is how long will it take for my honey to get smooth creamed texture in the fridge?

Reply: The honey should crystallise in the fridge (approx. 50 F) within a few days. To get a fine creamed texture, you would need to use a food processor. The finer the crystals are, the smoother the honey.

Question: I understand that there are different kinds of honey. Would I get the same effects from using liquid clover honey instead of creamed clover honey or cut comb clover. And what about raw clover honey? I am worried that I may not like the flavor.

Reply: Clover honey is one of the many honey varieties around. It can come in different forms e.g liquid or cream or in combs. It can also be processed or raw. Their health benefits are the same. Raw honey (of any honey varieties) is of course still the best. Raw honey doesn't taste worse, in fact you will be surprised how pleasantly different they can be compared to processed honey. Give it a try! Read: "Where to Buy Honey, Any Ideas?"

Question: Is beeswax good for you to eat? I have some fresh honey straight from the hive with the beeswax and honey all mixed together.

Reply: Beeswax used in the construction of honeycomb is natural. It is edible and some people like to chew it like a gum. It is also like roughage for your system. In ancient times, beeswax was used in medical applications, but today is specified for candles, cosmetics and ointments. This page gives a short description of beeswax: Bee Wax .

Question: Do you know honey that is usually in powder form is from cactus flower honey? What is special about cactus honey?

Reply: "Cactus honey", marketed as a sugar replacement, is made from the juice of a Mexico-native cactus plant called Agave. It doesn't come from the bees. Read a detailed account in Who Says Cactus Honey Powder is Honey! .

Question: What is the name for the traditional wine made from honey, yeast and water?

Reply: It's MEAD. You may wish to read this article on Mead.

Question: Are wooden honey pots good for honey storage or are glass containers better?

Reply: Both glass containers and wooden pots are fine. However if you are storing the honey for a long period of time, choose one that is air tight (honey absorbs moisture from the air). The wooden pots usually do not come with air-tight covers but are good enough for storing small amount of honey that is used daily/frequently.

Question: What happens to honey, when few water droplets are mixed with it and left for days? Does it spoil?

Reply: It depends on how much moisture the honey contains. Viscosity of honey differs depending on the floral source, weather. Any additional moisture to the honey may lead to fermentation of the honey over time. That is, if the water content of the honey gets high enough, certain types of yeast can survive and create alcohol in the honey.

Question: Will honey make your coffee creamer curdle?

Reply: Depending on the floral varietals, honey ranges from a pH of about 3 to 6. High acidity levels in some honey and even certain type of coffee can trigger curdling of the creamer.

Question: Why can't I find Canola honey?

Reply: While Canola is a very common crop in the US, its honey isn't that commonly found. It isn't a popular honey varietal for beekeepers to harvest because it crystallizes too rapidly and have to be creamed immediately to prevent crystallization. The other bigger issue is most of the Canola crop is GM, i.e. genetically altered to resist herbicides, and this makes it a very unappealing choice for honey consumers.

Question: Which is better, raw honey or Buckwheat honey?

Reply: "Raw" is the state of the honey. It basically means that the honey is totally unheated and unprocessed. "Buckwheat" is a floral varietal of honey. There are thousands of other floral varietals all over the world, such as Eucalyptus, Manuka, Orange Blossom, Tupelo, etc. "Raw honey" and "Buckwheat honey" are referring to two entirely different concepts that cannot be compared at the same level. Buckwheat honey can come in raw or pasteurized depending on the brand/supplier. Read: Frequently Asked Information About Honey.

Question: What kind of honey is best?

Reply: Choice of honey is based on various factors and can be subjective. You may want to read the following pages on this subject:
Which Honey to Buy?
Frequently Asked Information About Honey

Question: Can young children and teenagers also benefit from consuming honey?

Reply: Honey helps in building general good health and overall immune functions for both adults and children. Read:
Hibernation Honey for Kids?
Health Benefits of Honey

Question: What is the benefit of eating honeycombs?

Reply: Honeycombs are the most original form of honey, its benefits over commercial bottled honey are that they are totally unprocessed, unheated and unfiltered, so that full goodness of live enzymes and pollen in the honey is kept.

Question: We recently bought Basswood honey at a farm stand. The honey has a nice aroma, but as soon as I add it to my light-colored fruit-flavored Green Tea, the tea turns dark, almost black. Rather bitter. Normal?

Reply: We have heard of a couple of instances whereby tea turned black with honey, but we still do not have an idea what had actually caused the change of color. As far as we could figure, a chemical reaction between certain kinds of tea and certain kinds of honey containing particular types of pollen appeared to have ocurred. No one seemed to have fallen ill afer taking the blackened tea, but we can only better ascertain the health implications if the cause is known. Also, we have not heard about the taste changing to bitter and this doesn't sound very normal. You may want to check with a food chemist on this or contact the supplier of the honey who may already have received the same complaints/reports from other customers.

Question: Why isn't the honey I bought at the farmers' market clear? I don't need it to be clear but am curious what makes it appear whipped.

Reply: Your honey supplier has chosen to whip it such that it turns creamy. Usually this is to prevent raw honey from crystallizing. Some floral varietals are very swift in turning into sugar-like crystals that most customers are unable to accept. More on cream honey and crystallization in:
Crystallization of Honey
Forms of Honey

Question: If honey crystallizes, does it mean it is of low quality?

Reply: Crystallizations a natural process and does not affect the quality of the honey. Crystallized honey can be consumed without any warming or restoring to its actual state. More in: Crystallization of Honey.

Question: I recently bought a few bottles of honey stored in bottles made of glass. I left them in my car for about 5 hours. The weather was hot. When I reached for the bottles, they were shattered and the honey spilled as if the honey expanded in the bottles and exploded.

Reply: The fermentation in the honey could have been accelerated by the higher temperature in the car. The moisture level of the honey could be rather high for this to happen. Moisture content is is related to various factors, such as the source (eg weather) of honey and harvesting process, eg extracting when honey is still not mature, etc.

Question: Why does honey crystalize sometimes?

Reply: Crystallization of honey is a natural process due to its inherent property (some varietals crystallize faster than others and sometimes due to the environmental temperature or the way it is processed and handled.

Question: I have transported honey also while moving and it might has exposed to temperature of up to 120-140 degree farenheit. It is liquid and smells ok. Is it safe to eat?

Reply: 140 Fahrenheit might affect the quality of the honey but doesn't seem like a temperature that would cause the honey to become inedible.

Question: If I put honey in a heated liquid... does that kill the benefits of it the same as the cooking does?

Reply: It's advised that honey be added only when the liquid (eg coffee, tea) has cooled down to some extent. The experts don't seem to have any number to explain how much of the goodness (live enzymes) s affected during heating, but most would concur that raw honey is the best. However, I also notice certain popular practices like the Ayurveda have many healing concoctions that are cooked and boiled with honey. So, some cultures seem to have a different take on this. I totally agree that raw honey is the most ideal, but I personally do use honey as an ingredient in baking and cooking as I believe it is still a more superior form of sweetener compared to highly refined table sugar or corn syrup. (Tip: I sometimes adjust recipes by adding the honey last after all the heating and cooling down.)

Question: I chanced upon your website and after reading about the benefits of honey, I went to buy a bottle over the weekend. Although I stored the bottle in a air-tight container, the ants are still coming. Can I keep it in the fridge? I don't mind the crystallization or hardening of honey, I'm just worried that some of the enzymes or anti-microbial properties might be destroyed by storing it in the fridge. Could you please advise if there are any negative impact to the honey?

Reply: I suppose it depends on how frequent you are taking in and out of the fridge. For long period of continuous storage, leaving in the fridge is fine. But if you are having it regularly or daily and you need to restore the honey to room temperature to be consumed or so that it can be easily mixed with other food, then the frequent change of temperature may alter the properties of the honey and affect the quality.

Question: Is honey in a honey comb is more healthier than processed honey in a bottle? It seems tastier in the comb and lasts longer.

Reply: Processed honey has been pasteurised, so if possible, get raw honey which keeps all the healthy live enzymes in it. The chances of getting fake or adulterated honey in honeycombs are pretty low, so you can be quite assured the honey in it is raw and pure. I wouldn't judge comb honey as tastier as this taste is highly dependent on the floral varietals of the honey and individual's preferences. As for which would last longer, as long as it's pure 100% honey (ie no other ingredients/water are added), regardless of whether it's pasteurised or raw honey, there is no expiry date with proper storage.

Question: When I was a kid honey was always solidified, never in a liquid state like honey you buy today. Is liquid honey chemically altered to maintain fluidity?

Reply: The original state of honey is liquid (viscosity varies according floral varietal and environmental factors). Over time, honey inevitably undergoes crystallisation, a natural process that does not affect honey quality. Some honey varietals crystallise faster than others.

Question: What is whipped honey? What are the properties or benefits of it if any?

Reply: Whipped honey is also known as creamed honey which cream-like and can be spread on toast like butter. There is no special health benefits in cream honey, only its form is different.

Question: Please tell me all about " Cactus Honey Powder" and its ingredients. Is there real honey in it. Is it good for us?

Reply: Read write-up on: Who Says Cactus Honey Powder is Honey!

Question: Does honey have an unlimited shelf life?

Reply: 100% pure unadulterated honey does not expire so long as it is stored properly - sealed tight, put away from heat/direct sunlight. However, for honey with high moisture content (this could be inherent due to beekeeping practices, environmental/humidity factors) fermentation can take place over time, especially in warmer temperature. Ref: Honey Storage Tips

Question: Does honey come in powder form? I suppose it does because I see granulated honey in the store.

Reply: I don't see honey powder as a form of powder. Unlike creamed honey, liquid honey which are all expected to be 100% honey, honey powder contains one or two additives such as wheat starch and Maltodextrin. These ingredients can make up to 50% of the honey powder contents.

Question: I drink green tea with honey everyday. Can I also add cinnamon and apple cider vinegar or lemon to my tea?

Reply: Many of us are tempted to mix everything beneficial together and take the concoction at one go. Well-known traditional folk remedies such as cider vinegar and honey, cinnamon and honey have their own great health benefits, the add-ons are quite harmless as they are all natural foods, but I feel it would be good to first follow one food regime at a time (eg a few weeks of taking the same combination) so that you can find out how your body responds to each of the different combinations. Only this way can you know whether the additional ingredients would make any difference.

Question: I buy Cactus Honey Powder from a Korean Grocery store. It is light yellow and has the consistency of small granules. The ingredients listed are "Pure Honey & Malodextrin." So is this Agave or Honey? Either way I like it and figure it is better than white refined sugar.

Reply: It is likely to be a dried version of the agave nectar. Maltodextrin is corn syrup, which has been reportedly linked to side effects such as high cholesterol and weight gain. Anything that has been added corn syrup is far from being a good sweetener, and in fact, worse than table sugar.

Question: I was wondering instead of fasting, can you subsitute meals like lunch for honey and water?

Reply: Yes you can, in fact honey water aids cleansing and at the same time provides energy during fasting. You can do partial fasting with honey water ie, substitute meals for honey water or a full fasting, ie using honey water to replace all meals for 1 to 3 days. Read: Fasting With Honey

Question: Is store bought pasturized honey of any use?

Reply: Raw honey is the best. But 100% pure commercial honey is still better than any highly processed sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweetener.

Question: Is there a difference in raw honey and honey in a jar?

Reply: Raw honey refers to honey that is unpasteurised, unheated. Depending on how the honey is being treated, honey in a jar could be commercial, pasteurised honey or raw honey straight from the hive.

Question: My husband has been taking his tablespoons of honey for about a month now and feels much better and has more energy. I would like to do this also, but simply can't stand the taste of honey. Do you have any suggestions where I can benefit from it without the taste?

Reply: I suspect you have not tried enough of the different varietals of honey. Taste of floral varietals can be very varied and diverse depending on the flower source and place. Explore the different types of honey and I am sure you will eventually find something that is pleasing to your palate. Meanwhile you may also consider adding honey to a beverage, pairing honey with other foods can result in different taste as well.

Question: What is creamed honey? Is creamed honey more superior than liquid honey?

Reply: Cream honey has undergone a controlled crystallisation process that results in the cream form. Both liquid and cream honey offer the same health benefits. It's possible to find both cream honey and liquid honey that are 100% pure as well as those that are adulterated. Some people prefer cream honey for the benefits of applying it on bread, while others prefer liquid for easy mixing with water. Details in: Frequently Asked Information About Honey

Question: I was just wondering if honey gets better over time? I was told this by one of my friend who used to collect honey by his own from the trees around his area?

Reply: I believe you are referring to aged honey, which is honey left intact inside the hive for a long time. The honey is not yet harvested. When it is has been harvested and extracted, the term "aging" doesn't apply anymore. That is, by keeping honey you purchase for a very long time in the bottle doesn't give you any aged honey.

Aged honey is rare because most bee harvesters are eager to get the honey as soon as possible for sale, and when immature honey is extracted, you get low quality, diluted, and easily fermented honey.

Question: I've been told that you should buy local honey - within a certain mile radius of your home - so as to get the best immunity against alergies, etc. What is that mileage?

Reply: There isn't a fixed definition to local honey, it usually means 5 mile and up to even 100 mile radius from where you live; but the nearer it is, the better.

Question: Why does honey crystallizes? Does all honey crystallizes?

Reply: Honey crystallizes when one of its main component, glucose, separates out of the supersaturated honey solution. Crystallisation is a natural phenomenon and happens to all honey (some floral varietals crystallise faster than others). To regain the original state of the honey, just place the bottle over warm water (about 40 degree Celsius).

Question: My pure honey has crystallized. Can I heat it before baking? I understand I can put it in a micro oven to heat up.

Reply: Don't heat the honey directly over a heat source. Warming it over a bowl of warm water (about 40 degree C.) will easily convert it from the crystalline state to the liquid state without deterioration of its properties.

Question: My husband brought home a honeycomb from a recent trip to France. It says it is from "summer 2009", Breton region. It appears to be "capped", but it tastes very much like mead! Could it have fermented in the comb if it were capped? Should I just add it to mulled wine and enjoy the alcohol content?

Reply: Yes, capped honey can also ferment if humidity is high. I don't see why you can't add it to mulled wine.

Question: Can you use honey in place of sugar in gluten free bread recipes?

Reply: Yes, honey is a common ingredient in gluten free bread recipes. It can be used in place of sugar.

Question: Does honey have a expiration date?

Reply: When kept in the right conditions (air tight container, away from sunlight/heat), honey has no expiry date.

Question: Is it true that honey turned toxic if mixed with hot water. If so, can you provide me the scientific explanation behind?

Reply: Ayurveda might have certain beliefs about mixing certain foods such as honey and milk, honey and hot water, but I haven't come across any related explanation. Nevertheless, I wouldn't add hot water to honey as this would destroy the live enzymes in it.

Question: I want to buy a local, bulk, honey made from desert flowers and jar it to give as gifts to family and friends back in the Midwest. I will be buying glass jars with metal lids with the 'rubbery' lining in them for a tight seal. My question is this: Do I need to heat the honey to get a 'vaccuum seal' or is that not necessary? I've been trying to find an answer on the Internet. Some say not to heat the honey to the point necessary to get the vaccuum seal because it will kill the natural proprties of the honey and that it isn't necessary since covered honey won't spoil, anyway. However, wouldn't the USDA or some such organization require such a process for the jars of honey that are sold to consumers and if so is it safe to assume that commercially packaged honey isn't as nutritious as raw honey? If I ever sold a jar of honey would I need to jar it in a commercial manner? What's the best way to jar honey to satisfy ALL requirements and/or concerns?

Reply: Commercial honey (in supermarts and stores) have certain requirements from the USDA for honey bottling and packaging and I believe one of the requirements is to have the honey pasteurized. Different countries have different requirements for certain food items. The reason for pasteurizing is not related to any health reasons (unlike for milk) but for pure marketing reasons. All natural honey crystallizes over time and affects the appearance of the honey on the shelf and its sales. Pasteurization retards the crystallization process and helps the honey to stay in nice liquid form. However any heating at high temperature is not good for the honey as it kills the live enzymes and reduces the health benefits of the honey. But if you are buying the honey not for commercial purpose but for personal distribution, I don't see why you need to heat up the honey to get the vacuum seal. I'm not sure what kind of heating is involved in the vacuum sealing, but with tight containers and proper storage away from the heat, honey does not spoil. So I would say, don't apply any heat to the honey and keep all the live goodness in the honey for your family and friends.

Question: Can you tell me what the ratio is when baking with honey as to with sugar?

Reply: As a rough guide, when using honey, use half of what you would use for table sugar, as honey is almost twice as sweet as sugar. For Eg, if you use 2 spoons of table sugar, you only need 1 spoon of honey. However, you may only want to note that different varietals of honey have different degree of sweetness.

Question: How do I store my open jar of raw honey?

Reply: Store the honey in an airtight container/jar away from direct sunlight or heat. There's no need to put it into the fridge.

Question: Is it OK if I use metal spoon to scoop honey from the jar?

Reply: There may be a concern if it's about long storage time. But in this case, I think it's perfectly fine, the contact time is too short for any reaction between the honey and metal. And in fact beekeepers' equipment for honey extraction are all made of metal.

Question: How do we test to see if using a metal spoon to prepare honey would reduce its health benefits?

Reply: Only a clinical test in the laboratory would be able to ascertain if metal substances have any effect on honey and its quality. So far, we haven't come across any study or evidence related to this. More details on this subject in: Frequently Asked Information About Honey. See Question No. 16.

Question: What is the difference between wildflower honey and clover honey? Is one considered more beneficial than the other?

Reply: Clover honey is sourced from the flower nectar of clover plants, whereasa wildflower honey is sourced from a variety of unidentified flower nectar sources that the bees visited. Sometimes, such honey is also labelled as floral blend honey, multifloral honey or just "honey". Because distinct monofloral honey varietal (eg clover honey, eucalyptus, macadamia, buckwheat, etc) are specially identified and separated, they often command a higher price than honeys that are just labelled "honey" on the bottle. Mineral compositions and nutritional value of honey depend on a number of factors such as floral species, geographical region or place of the flowers origin.

Question: Do you have to mix honey with liquid to get the benefits?

Reply: No, you don't have to. But for most people, honey is too sweet to be taken direct.

Question: I work in a restaruant where we serve honey in litte, glass, honey- pouring jars. For the past few months we have had issues with the honey "thickening". We receive the honey in gallon buckets and then dispurse the honey into smaller more manageable containers to ultimatly fill the honey jars that go to the tables. We store the jars on a shelf in our server alley. Nothing hot is around it. The thickening doesn't seem to come until they are in the jars. Why is this so?

Reply: Thickening of honey, also known as crystallisation of honey, is not caused by any hot objects/conditions. It's a natural process that happens to all honey over time. Rate of crystallisation varies depending on the honey floral variety. The storage condition also matters. Exposure to cold temperature speeds up the rate of thickening. Storing the honey into small jars would mean a greater exposure to the external atmospheric conditions, which could have quickened the process of crystallisation.

Question: We have honey stored for decades and some of the bottles now have a lot of crystallized stuff at the bottom and on top of the jars there is a thick dark liquid. Is this honey safe for consumption or it has gone bad?

Reply: Whether they are suitable for consumption after so long depends on the condition they are stored. Crystallisation is normal for honey and does no harm to the quality of the honey. But if the honey was not stored airtight and was exposed to the heat/light, this can cause a deterioration in its quality. Read: Honey Storage

Question: How do you make cinnamon and honey spread for toast?

Reply: Mix 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with 2 tablespoon of honey. Use it as a spread for toasted bread.

Question: I use honey in many recipes. Some bottles that I buy are very smooth, and others seem to clump/crystalize a lot faster. I tend to set the bottle in a bowl and run hot water over it until it is pourable. Is it bad to do it that way, or should I just heat as much as I need? Also, once it crystalizes, the aroma seems to change. Does that affect the taste too?

Reply: Crystallisation doesn't change the quality of the honey, but when exposed to air/humidity and sunlight, honey can lose its aroma (so, always remember to store it in an airtight container). You can place the amount of crystallised honey in a glass/container over hot water to restore the state of the honey. However, never heat honey above 50C as it will not only affect its aroma and flavour but also destroy its food value - enzymes.

Question: I have been buying non-filtered honey at the local farmers market. It comes in reused jelly-type jars. I noticed that some of the honey is darker than others, some as dark as molasses. This happens even in the honey with the comb included. What does this mean? Is clear honey better?

Reply: Honey varies in colour depending on its floral variety. Colour (darker or lighter) is not used as an indicator of honey quality. Also crystallisation lightens the colour of honey.

Clear "commercial" honey has been heated and thoroughly filtered so that it looks cleaner and more appealing on the shelf, however its vitamins and minerals are partially destroyed during heating. Pure raw honey (rare nowadays) is totally unheated and hence more nutritious. However it's unfiltered and characterised by textured crystals, looks cloudy and contains particles and flecks of bee pollen, and even bee fragments, which could be in a way everyone would consider as undesirable. Find out how to test for Pure Honey.

Question: Should I worry that my honey may have originated from bees that polinate crops that also have pesticides? Will the chemical residue from those pesticides make it from the bees to my honey when I eat it?

Reply: Where commercial crops are concerned, the use of pesticides are legally kept at a safe level, hence most people are still consuming "inorganic foods" (as opposed to expensive "organic" foods). All food supply are assumed to have been tested by various government departments before they reach your plate. Also, beekeepers operating apiaries in areas where pesticides take steps to protect their bees from poisoning. However, actually if you seriously think about it, all honey can in a way be argued as "organic", as it's a product of the bee's digestive track, the stuff they use to feed their larvae.

You may be interested to read this:

When honey is labelled as organic: What is Organic Honey?

Why people have equated "organic" to "healthy" and claim there is a taste difference between organic and regular, which I personally have not quite figured out: Why Some Prefer Organic Food

Question: Why should you not feed honey to children under 1 year old?

Reply: The reason for advising against the consumption of honey for children under 1 yr old has to do with the risk of food poisoning caused by botulinum spores in the honey. Read details in: Warning Note on Honey and Infant

Question: I am always looking for "unpasturized" on the label when I buy honey. However, is all unpasturized honey required to be labeled as such? I see many many honey products, claiming to be "natural". Can I to assume that all honey with no distinct label is pasteurized?

Reply: "Natural honey" is not equated with "unpasteurized"/"raw". "Natural honey" could mean unadulterated honey, i.e pure, not added with cane sugar, malt, glucose. Usually, indeed when honey is not labelled "unpasteurized", it is pasteurized, and nowadays most commercial honey is pasteurized (as opposed to honey you get from the local honey farm).

As for the "pasteurized" labelling, every country has their own regulation and requirement. I am not sure if you can find lots of honey labelled "unpasteurized" in the supermarkets, because I understand for some countries, the term "unpasteurized" label on honey is prohibited, and you can find the label "raw" instead. Unpasteurized honey is now mostly directly purchased from the local honey farms, which do not exist in places within easy reach for some people.

An article which you might want to read: Did You Know Reading Food Label Can Be So Tricky?

Question: How do you know if the honey is not 100% pure & natural since there are many brands could play lying though "pure honey" tag. Also, this is written by some honey brands "This honey contains not less than 60% of reducing sugars calculated as dextrose anhydrous"? What are they trying to tell?

Reply: There are no clear official definitions of what "pure and natural", hence manufacturers have much liberty when claiming what is pure and natural honey.

Not sure if you have read these articles before:

Beware, the Natural Food Rage is on!

Did You Know Reading Food Label Can Be So Tricky?

Some countries have honey labelling requirements such as "honey is to contain not less that X% reducing sugars and not more than X% moisture." Basically "reducing sugar" in food chemistry term, refers to glucose (dextrose anhydrous) and fructose, so indirectly, the label also indicates the presence of sucrose (table sugar), a non-reducing sugar.

Question: How do I weigh honey accurately without any mess?

Reply: To measure accurately liquid honey, you can first brush or rub a very thin layer of cooking oil on the inner walls of the measuring cup to prevent the honey from sticking to the cup. (Nowadays, there are also non-stick sprays in the market to replace the need to smear cooking oil onto surfaces.)

Question: How do you keep honey after you open a bottle? I find that my honey turns thick and gets sugary.

Reply: Honey turning thick and sugary is normal and rate of crystallisation varies for the different types of honey. But this doesn't affect the quality of honey. Just place the sugary bottle of honey over warm water to dissolve the granules. And, always keep your honey in an airtight container after use to prevent moisture from the environment from entering the honey.

Read more about Honey Storage

Question: What are the benefits of using the honey produced in your own area?

Reply: It is a popular belief that consuming honey produced in your own area could counteract and treat pollen allergies. Some people have reported taking local honey a little bit on a daily basis for several months before the pollen season has made them become tolerant of the allergies.

Ref: Honey Allergy?

Question: What are the yardsticks to know pure and natural honey?

Reply: Quality natural honey can be measured by: 1) Amount of water content (honey when exposed to air/humidity can absorb moisture from the environment.) Introduction of water can cause honey to turn bad. 2) Amount of processing (this can be measured by the amount of HMF)-- the lesser the better 3) Amount of adulteration with water, inverted sugars, etc -- pure honey is 100% unadulterated.

Ref: How to Choose Good Quality Honey

Question: There are many different kinds of honey. Which honey is best?

Reply: There are countless brands of honey out there in mega-marts, grocery stores, and even online stores, originating from different countries. Most supermarkets/health stores carry honey that has been processed/heated to some extent, hence personally, I find it easier to believe in purchase of unprocessed, raw honey directly obtained from a trusted bee keeper or bee farm, though this is not always conveniently possible for everyone anywhere around the world, including myself.

The 1st thing to ensure is you get unadulterated honey, that is pure 100% honey. There are a few things which you should consider when choosing good quality honey, read: How to Test for Pure Honey

Secondly, note that not all honey varieties are equal in terms of medical/healing properties. Read on why Manuka Honey is special and where you can find some good honey: Manuka Honey

Where to Buy Honey

Question: Do you get the same benefits from raw honey if you put it in coffee or tea (thus heating it)? Does the temperature of coffee and tea not compare to the heat used in the pasteurization of regular honey? I am having trouble finding things to use the raw honey on/in without getting rid of the benefits?

Reply: To preserve the full goodness of honey, avoid adding piping hot water, as this would not only reduce the aroma and flavour of the honey, but also destroy the natural enzymes present in honey. It's advised that honey be added only when the tea or coffee has cooled down to some extent (40-50�C).

Most commercial honey is pasteurised (even if it's labelled "raw honey"). Honey suppliers have commercial pasteurizing equipments that heat honey quickly to about 70 degrees C for a few minutes and then cool it very quickly. This process will reduce the food value of honey to some extent.

Question: Can honey be frozen until you are ready to use it?

Reply: It's okay to freeze honey which you will not be using for months, without harming it. To avoid the hassle of defrosting, I would recommend storing honey in an air tight container in dry, cool place. Read: Honey Storage

Question: How do you keep honey after you open a bottle? I find that my honey turns thick and gets sugary.

Reply: Honey turning thick and sugary is normal and rate of crystallisation varies for the different types of honey. But this doesn't affect the quality of honey. Just place the sugary bottle of honey over warm water to dissolve the granules. And, always keep your honey in an airtight container after use to prevent moisture from the environment from entering the honey.

Question: How do I weigh honey in baking without getting my kitchen scale and everything in a mess?

Reply: To measure accurately liquid honey, you can first brush or rub a very thin layer of cooking oil on the inner walls of the measuring cup to prevent the honey from sticking to the cup. (Nowadays, there are also non-stick sprays in the market to replace the need to smear cooking oil onto surfaces.) Give it a try. Read: How to Measure Honey.

Question: What is an approximate weight of a gallon of honey?

Reply: According to the National Honey Board, a gallon of honey weighs "12 pounds", which is about 5.5kg.

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