Perhaps because I have been borderline diabetic for several years, I, like perhaps others who share my perspective, have a personalized method. I use due diligence buying, but regardless, when I take the honey home, all I have to do is sample from one teaspoon to one tablespoon to see if my blood sugar spikes. If it does, the honey has been cut with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. I get the same blood sugar spike from highly processed and bleached cane and/or beet sugars, including confectioners powdered sugars. So, do not start by thinking that you can not have any sugar. Think, instead, maybe I can have raw, unadulterated sugars. Also, because I have been borderline diabetic for so many decades, perhaps my consumption of 6 to 8 tablespoons of raw honey a day, whether as a honey tea (one cup of warmed, filtered water sweetened with one tablespoon of raw honey,) drizzled over peanut buttered toast and sprinkled with golden flax seed, or Pure Maple Syrup (not cut with corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup) drizzled over various cooked whole grain Bob's Red Mill cereals, contributes to claims that raw honey stabilizes blood sugar. Just my trial and error testing observations and learned opinions. Can we learn if any full fledged diabetics have tested and also do not get a sugar spike from raw, un-adulterated honey? Are they stabilizing their blood sugar with pure raw honey? I would like to know.
C., United States
21 Dec 2013
Firstly thank you for giving me this opportunity. The following test will serve us. Put some amount of honey in a deep freezer for a while and once it gets frozen be rest assured that it is an adulterated honey. Also get a drop on a sand the moment it sinks into the sand it is also not a pure one but if it fold and rolls like a moulded chewing gum that is a pure honey, in addition since honey is acidic in nature the moment it is applied on an open ulcer is very pepperish that is also a mark of a good honey.
Elhussein Adamu, Nigeria
18 Dec 2013
A simple point with pure raw honey is that I had learned as a teenager (in about 1948) that pure RAW honey would get rid of my very advanced case of athlete's feet.
I had tried everything! Pure raw honey was the only thing that would work! (It took two nights of applications.) Then in 1955 I learned quite by accident (because I had nothing else available) that pure raw honey was perfect for a VERY serious burn to my hand during a camping trip in an Oregon forest. (The burn left not even a blister or a scar). Soon I learned that it was also perfect for any kind of open wound including very, very serious open wounds that would later require stitches.
By the way! A few years ago (in the late 1900s near to the year 2000) I heard on the TV news that the Houston, Texas burn center had made this great discovery that honey was good for burns. Really!?
You may not know this, but infection cannot live in pure honey and pure honey will never go bad or spoil in a container by its self. So, for my 6 children and family, I never again (after my discovery that night in the forest) used anything but pure raw honey for open wounds and burns and athletes feet-or anything else-just pure raw honey. Amazing how smart God is!!
Sherwin Goff, United States
2 Nov 2013
Hi there Honey friend, as a honey farming friend, the way I distinquise pure honey is to turn the bottle side ways then the honey must form a bubble inside with a slow motion action to the other side off the container. I deal in raw honey only.
Robbert Guthrie, South Africa
18 Oct 2013
Ruth: This seems to be a viscosity test related to the water content of honey. Ref: What's Considered Good Quality Honey. Adulterated honey however may not just about the amount of water added, but also other substances or additives.
One relevant way of knowing whether it is pure honey or adulterated is by analysing the honey by scientific method which analyzed the honey by sugar profile. This method is done by using the High Perfomance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC) which will breakdown the percentage of sugars (Frutose, Glucose, Sucrose, Lactose, etc) in the honey. In natural honey where bees obtained the nectar from the flowers, the Frutose followby Glucose level should be higher then other sugars. But so far, there is no idea whether the honey obtained from beehive near to Sugar plantations should contained higher percentage of Sucrose as may be the case if we are referring to the nectar in the Sugarcane plants.
Desmond Chew Ko Keng, Malaysia
14 Oct 2013
Ruth: Thanks Desmond, I believe there exists various ways of testing honey purity in the labs, however how we, as consumers can judge the purity from home remains to be a challenge.
I am a beekeeper and understand that pure honey will crystallize, whereas that with additives will not. A sure sign of pure/raw/unprocessed honey - crystallization.
Miguel L., United States
12 Oct 2013
Ruth: Crystallization is the result of a super-saturated sugar solution and honey is a sugar in such a form. It's also possible for other super-saturated sugar solutions to crystallize. Rate of honey crystallisation also depends on the composition of honey (glucose and fructose contents) and therefore its floral origin. Some honey rushes to crystallize and some hardly crystallise or are extremely slow to crystallize. While it's true that heating and pasteurization of honey prevents crystallisation, most runny honey (especially from tropical countries which are hot and humid) are very slow to crystalliation as the moisture content is relativley high.
To know a pure and not diluted honey, if you drop honey on a plain sheet of paper it will not wet the paper or soak the paper no matter how long it stayed and it maintain its viscosity. But mixed honey will soak or wet paper easily.
Adedokun Seyi Christopher, Nigeria
9 Oct 2013
There is a lot of ways to check if the honey is pure, the easiest is read the label.
4 Oct 2013
Ruth: If product labels are always 100% truthful, there wouldn't be so much concern about buying adulterated or fake honey. And the need to test for pure honey would also be irrelevant.
If honey is 100% pure and has no glucose or corn syrup etc added you can "pour" it from a spoon and it will fall in an unbroken stream no matter how high you hold it..the stream will become finer but will be unbroken... If it has water or other things added it will pour but will break the stream and drip instead of a continuous stream.
Deanne Gowsmith, Australia
15 Aug 2013
I understand that ants do not fancy pure honey and will not hover around it... because ants regard pure honey as a VOMIT of fellow ants. I have personally tried this method with several types of 'honey' and it seems true!
Obinna Okoro, Nigeria
5 Aug 2013
I want to share my experience while trying to find some pure honey. Once during my duty on construction of ring road project outside of Lahore, I met a person holding a bucket full with honey as well honeycomb inside it. I asked him how can I be sure about its purity, he just catches some flies and throws them down in the honey and asks me to wait and see, if honey is pure then flies will easily come out of the honey and fly away but if honey is not pure then flies will not able to come out of it. Then I saw after few minutes all flies come out of honey easily and fly away just like as these were never wet with anything like water,milk or sugar syrup. Please do some test and research on this method if it can helpful to all of us in future to find pure honey and share with us here. Thanks. One thing more, I had bought that honey tested with flies and it's taste was so great that I never eat that kind of honey again in my life yet.
Imran Yasin, Pakistan
28 July 2013
With regards honey, I hand spin, in a two-frame extractor, remove the capping from the come with a hot honey knife, that has been in hot water, then strain through a gauze filter. Some times I leave the jars on the window, behind the glass. This would this be pure honey.
Ron Heferen, Australia
24 July 2013
Testing pure honey is a very easy task. As honey is hygroscopic in nature, if you consume a spoonful of honey you will feel irritation in your throat while swallowing as the pure honey dries up the wetness in your throat.
18 July 2013
First, my dogs love honey, our honey from our bees, so I know it's real. Also, here in Florida, we are always battling ants of all types around our hives. They slurp it up if I drip any. Buy from your local beekeeper. You can contact your local beekeeping society or club. Ours always has pure, raw honey available. BTW, the taste, color, and consistency changes though out honey season, depending on what the bees are feeding on. We keep each harvesting separate as we like to taste the differences. Right now, our honey is dark reddish. Very yummy.
Jae, United States
8 July 2013
Many years ago, my honey supplier told me the only way to test for pure honey was to turn the honey jar upside down. If it was pure unadulterated honey the bubble that floated to the top was a circular bubble without a tail. Simple isn't it.
Margaret Heap, Australia
5 July 2013
In our country - Tanzania we simply test honey by observing the coiling and stretching ability of honey. If the honey is stretching (like coil )when you pour it means the honey is pure.
Gaudence Kazyoba, Tanzania
4 July 2013
A small volume of the honey (about) 2ml poured onto white A-4 sheet, if pure, would not wet the paper even left for hours.
Clement (Castee) Akuoko, Ghana
1 July 2013
In my country there is a saying that pure honey will never freeze. As I have tested with a "Dabur" Honey which is Indian by brand and promises to be 100% pure and locally collected honey from Sundarban, the Indian "Dabur" Honey got iced completely reflecting the analytical reports in many Indian news paper about the fraud. On the contrary the locally collected honey also got thickened but it didn't get frozen like the other one, instead it showed much higher viscosity when tried to pour after a 24 hour chilling in refrigerator. Can you please check this and confirm the probability of this test?
Ahbab Razzaque, Bangladesh
18 June 2013
Ruth: I think whether the honey freezes or not depends on its viscosity. It's hard to freeze honey which contains a low level of moisture content. However honey which is produced in warm, humid places tends to be more runny and is more likely to freeze because of its higher water content. Runny honey should not be equated with fake or impure honey.
Put a teaspoon of honey on a rupee note (or a dollar bill), light a gentle flame from the other side of the bill and let the honey get heated. If the honey is pure it will start simmering or else the bill, will in a while catch fire. Honey simmers and sugar liquid burns the bill. I have tried the following with honey it simmered and sugar syrup burnt the bill. I guess it testifies honey purity.
Jatinder Kaur, India
27 May 2013
As a beekeeper I can attest to the fact that ants and dogs love honey. Buy local and unpasteurized and you can be pretty sure it is the genuine article.
23 May 2013
You can get a hand held 100x microscope from Amazon.com for about $15 and you can examine a drop of honey for evidence of pollen. No pollen means it's filtered, if it's filtered the manufacturer is trying to hide the source. Why would they do that? Yeah, why? Buying honey from local bee-keepers is the only way to ensure you are getting high quality real honey.
Tim Rodemann, United States
22 May 2013
Ruth: I believe local beekeepers do filter their honey as well, otherwise, besides the bee pollen, you will get a lot of dirty-looking wax particles, bee body parts, etc in the honey. The question is how fine those filters are, this would determine how clear the honey is and how much bee pollen is left in in the honey. Commercial honey tends to be more well filtered not because they want to keep their honey source a secret but because consumers tend to go for clear, clean looking honey on the shelves. It is a big irony. Also, what you raised here involves a debate on the definition of real honey (ie should filtered, pollen-free honey be called real honey?), and it is not related to testing of honey purity, which is about finding out whether honey has been adulterated with other substances, such as processed sugars, corn syrup, starch, etc.
Well I usually test honey purity by taking a clean glass of water, and then pour some drops of liquid honey in the glass containing water. Then I leave it for sometime after which when I check back and find that the honey drops have not disolved, then it is confirmed to be pure honey.
Robby Mumba, Zambia
16 May 2013
Taste the honey. If it seems off, and yet the label claims it is pure, there are a few simple tests you can run to check the purity of the honey. The dissolving test. Get a glass of water. And a tablespoon of honey are all you need for the first test. Empty the honey into the water. If the honey is impure, it will dissolve in the water- the most common additive to honey is syrup of jaggery, which dissolves. If it is pure, the honey will stick together and sink as a solid lump to the bottom of the glass.
Amir, Saudi Arabia
7 May 2013
Olem Jamir, India
3 May 2013
Thank you for your great articles about honey and bees. My husband and I are beekeepers and work hard to keep our bees alive and producing good local honey. Drought and pesticides are working against us and other beekeepers.
You mentioned that beekeepers feed their bees sugar syrup to "boost production." I wanted to input that most beekeepers feed their bees simply to keep them alive during lean times. In other words, if bees cannot find flowers in bloom or some source of pollen, they will not be able to survive for long if they haven't been able to store enough honey for the colony.
A healthy hive will find the flowers in bloom and work them for the good of the hive.
Again, thanks for your good work. With the honey bee in danger because of pesticides and other environmental dangers, we need all the awareness stirred up we can get!
How wonderful if your readers would decide to be hobbyist beekeepers and keep a hive or two in their back yards. It would help a lot to save the bees.
Dee Cook, United States
1 May 2013
I read on a Dutch beekeeping wiki that one way to test for fake honey is by testing its conductivity. Any reading below 100 microSiemens per cm is then considered fake. http://www.imkerpedia.nl/wiki/index.php/Honing
5 April 2013
I suspect that the following is a sign of some kind of lack of purity.
While living overseas, sometimes I would be forced to buy honey from China because nothing else was available ... often in a largish jar.
I use honey in my tea and coffee... with milk. If I use pure honey, the color of the milk tea/coffee never changes. But... with the suspect honey, it almost always causes a darkening of the milk coffee when the honey is stirred in.
Only an observation, not sure of the cause... but it has never happened when I use honey that has come directly from the hives of family and friends.
Barry, United States
15 Mar 2013
As far as I know, there are two methods of testing the honey to acertain if it is not mixed up.
1. Get one stick of matches and suck its head in the honey for about 2 seconds and then try to ignite it from the matches box. If it ignites, for sure the honey is not adulterated.
2. Put a drop of honey on a sand (ground). If it is 100% honey, the sand will not absorb it, you can even get a piece of stick and try to roll it on ground, you will notice that it moves on the ground like a ball.
Hope you will find my information useful.
8 Mar 2013
I haven't compared yet but my friend told me that the pure honey never stain our clothes as we pour it down to it...never tried but I am just sharing the info just in case you wanna try it coz i dont have real honey at hand and i don't have the diluted one too. please send me further info about this...thnx I bought one bottle of honey from the street vendor as he telling me that it's a pure honeybee from a certain province here in the Philippines and I tried to pour it to my shirt and yes it didn't stain I don't know if it's a fact..
Gela Ruado, The Philippines
5 Mar 2013
Just keep the honey bottle in refrigerator over nite and see the result in the morning. If the honey is pure it will not solidify but if its not pure then the sugar and other mixing ingredients will settle down and water can be seen on top of it. Simple test.
Hamid Umer, Pakistan
4 Mar 2013
Just read a very interesting story on how to check if a product like honey is real or not - check this out: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Technology/TTP2/Honey_are_you_for_real
John Jansen, Denmark
22 Feb 2013
Dogs hate honey, so place a sample of honey on a plate to dogs. They will be repelled if it's pure!
V Sekar Veerappan, India
18 Feb 2013
My own way of knowing if the honey is pure is through the smell. Pure honey specially the wild ones have a unique and different aroma. I'm buying wild honey not the cultured one from the bee keeper and selling it. That's why I am very familiar with its smell.
Bless Jamandre, The Philippines
10 Feb 2013
Wow, thank you. A honey related site that so far as not or isn't filled with the usual rubbish. I've been a commercial beekeeper for 20 years and produce what I hope is the purest of foods. The only blot on honey producers landscape at the moment is the myth of manuka.
Terry, United Kingdom
6 Feb 2013
Unfortunately I haven't any suggestions how to test for honey, but I have had my suspicians. I bought honey from a farmers' market, the man selling the honey even had some bees with him, but the honey seemed like a jar full of wet sugar. Also, I have an allotment and another allotment holder has recently got bees, I bought some of his honey, it tasted really nice, very florally, he said the bees fed on the orchard. It was very clear, but very runny and I wondered if he'd added a little water. It was 5 dollars for a pound jar.
Annie Ayres, United Kingdom
5 Feb 2013
Check under microscope for the presence of pollen. If pollen is present, the chance that the honey being tested is real honey.
Elizabeth Ptasinski, United States
22 Jan 2013
The only way to safely buy pure honey is to get it locally at co-ops, farmers markets, or specialized honey retailers like Follow the Honey in Cambridge, MA. Discovered that place recently and I am obsessed. Honey from all over the world, all single source : )
Jane, United States
15 Jan 2013
We make our own honey and it is 100% pure organic honey, and have to keep hiding it from all kinds of ants!!! They just love it!!!!!
5 Jan 2013