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How to Choose a Good Quality Honey

by sarakhan
Good Quality Honey on Burlap

What does quality honey look like?

Even after choosing a certain type of honey, many of us wonder, “How do I choose this particular honey from the countless honeys from all over the world available on the market at widely varying prices?” The question remains.

When navigating the maze of different types of honey available in stores, I pay attention to certain information to ensure that the honey I buy is worth the money. The quality of honey, that is, its value, can be assessed according to five key factors

1. Moisture content

Quality honey normally has a low moisture content. Honey can ferment when the moisture content exceeds 19%. This is because all unpasteurized honey contains wild yeast. This yeast is not particularly dangerous, because its high sugar content means that even low-moisture honey can absorb enough water by osmosis to force it to stand still. In high moisture honey, yeast can survive and cause fermentation during storage.

Honey is highly hygroscopic, which means that it readily absorbs moisture from the air. For this reason, in areas with very high humidity, it can be difficult to obtain good quality honey with a sufficiently low moisture content, which can be measured with a device called a refractometer. Raw honey is relatively expensive, as its moisture content can be as high as 14%, and it is generally considered more valuable. Honey with a moisture content greater than 20% is not recommended for mead production. A simple way to determine the relative moisture content of honey is to take two jars of honey from different sources, of the same size, at the same temperature, and tightly closed. Turn the two jars upside down and observe how the bubbles rise. Honey with more moisture foams faster.

2. HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural)

HMF is a breakdown product of fructose (one of the main sugars in honey) and forms very quickly and slowly during storage when the honey is heated. The HMF content of honey is therefore used as a guide value for storage time and degree of heating. The occurrence and accumulation of HMF in honey depend on the type of honey; a high HMF content may indicate excessive heating during the extraction process. Honey sold in packaged form should normally be below 10 or 15 mg/kg in order to be processed and have some shelf life before reaching 40 mg/kg. It is not uncommon for honey sold in countries with warm climates to have HMF values above 100 mg/kg. This is mainly due to the ambient temperatures (above 35 °C) to which the honey is exposed in the distribution channels.

In some countries, there are limited values for the HMF content of imported honey. It is also advisable to pay attention to the color of the honey. Which darkens with storage and heating, which can sometimes be an indication of quality.

3. Invert sugar

A high HMF content (over 100 mg/kg) can also be an indicator of invert sugar spoilage. Cane sugar (sucrose) is “inverted” when heated in an edible acid, which produces HMF. Many foods sweetened with corn syrup, such as soft drinks, can contain up to 1,000 mg/kg of HMF.

4. Impurities

For most consumers, good-quality honey should be visually impeccable – clean and clear. Honey with a very high pollen content appears cloudy, and the presence of many other impurities, such as wax particles, bees, wood chips and dust, certainly makes it unfit for consumption and purchase and, therefore, of very little value. Even if some of these particles, such as pollen, have nutritional value or health benefits, it is, unfortunately, difficult to associate this type of honey with quality honey, so it is immediately rejected by most supermarket buyers. For this reason, it is almost impossible to find unfiltered raw honey in the market. Its cloudy appearance makes it commercially unattractive.

5. Color.

As far as the color of honey is concerned, a distinction is made between light, amber and dark. Which has nothing to do with the real quality. The more characteristic and stronger tasting honeys, such as badminton honey, are very light. While very sweet and pleasant honeys, such as tulip poplar honey, can be quite dark. Honey color is measured on the Pfund scale in millimeters. It is not an indicator of honey quality and there are exceptions, but in general, the darker the color of the honey, the higher the mineral content, pH and degree of flavor and aroma. Minerals such as potassium, chlorine, sulfur, iron, manganese, magnesium and sodium have been found to be significantly higher in darker colored honey.

About Author:

Sara has completed her education in marketing and started her career as a digital marketer. She is a content writer by profession. And she would love to add multiple things to her knowledge that she can add to her writing style. She writes about organic products like sidr honey at organic stores in Lahore.



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