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Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Distinguish Natural Honey and Artificial Honey?!

Humans have been using natural honey as early as 2,500 years ago. Honey is a gift from nature (or honey bees, to be more accurate) that do wonders. It has many useful applications throughout human history since it was being discovered. Natural honey is used in cooking, for beauty/wound/disease management, help weight loss, is an energy source for our body is rich in vitamins and minerals, has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties, for pest control and many more. As we know, honey is usually expensive, and there are manufacturers out there making imitation honey to satisfy consumers' need. You may want to know how to tell the real honey from the artificial one. This is to prevent you overpaying for honey that is claimed "pure", where in fact, it is not.

There basically are three classes of honey: Natural (pure), adulterated and artificial. Natural honey is the purest of all, which is made from raw honey and rather pricey. Adulterated honey contains natural honey but with other added ingredients. Artificial honey is not honey at all, but made of syrup from sugar or corn, additives and food coloring mimicking the real. This article will show you how to distinguish natural honey, artificial honey and everything in between, so you know what you are paying for.

  • Read the Label
Honest manufacturers will list all the ingredients on the container. If the honey is not pure, it should say so on the label, including the percentage of real honey (if any) that is in the bottle.
  • Finger Feel
Rub some "honey" between your index finger and thumb until it disintegrates (some will be absorbed into your skin; pure honey is a good skin regimen). Natural honey is not sticky, but it would not be the case if sugar or artificial sweetener is added. You can easily feel the difference after rubbing.
  • Paper Test
Place a few drops of "honey" on a notebook paper or tissue paper. Pure honey would not perforate the paper for a long time. This is because real honey does not contain water (0%).
  • Ant Experiment
Ants love sweets. Drop some honey where you see ants. Bees instinctively build beehives on trees and between rocks. They add an additive to the honey in order to protect it from pests (i.e. ants). Ants will not disturb natural honey.
  • Raw Egg Test
Mix "honey" with an egg yolk (no white) in a bowl. Give the "honey" and yolk a good beat with a fork. If the honey is pure, the yolk will look like it's been cooked after beating. The yolk will appear it has no affect from the artificial and adulterated honey -- still looking raw.
  • The Water Method
Fill a glass of water and add one tablespoon of "honey" into the water. Pure honey will lump and settle at bottom of glass. Adulterated and artificial honey will start dissolving in water.
  • Use Bread
Spread "honey" on a slice of bread. Natural honey will harden the bread in minutes. Adulterated and artificial honey will "wet" the bread because of the water content.
  • Feel in Your Throat Method
Real honey will give you that "tingling" feel just before swallowing behind your mouth. Adulterated and artificial honey cannot achieve and give that sensation like real honey would; you will be tasting and swallowing like ordinary sugar water.
  • The Shelf Life Test
Pure honey will crystallize over time. Imitation honey will remain looking like syrup, no matter how long it is stored.
  • Light a Fire
Dip the tip of a matchstick in "honey", and then strike it to light. Natural honey will light the match easily and the flame will burn off the honey. Fake honey will not light because of the moisture it contains.
  • The Microwave Oven Test
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons "honey" in a microwave-proof bowl. Heat "honey" on high power until hot. Natural honey will caramelize quickly and will never become foamy. Adulterated and artificial honey will become bubbly and difficult to caramelize.

Tips & Warnings
  • If all possible, buy directly from the beekeeper. Many beekeepers sell honey directly at their bee farms to consumers. You can also use the opportunity to ask questions regarding how their bees are raised, what flowers are used to produce the honey, and many educational information about honey bees.
  •   Pure honey contains 0% water. Water will promote fungi growth, and bees do not want that happen to their combs.
  • Do not feed pure honey to infants under 1 year of age. Depending on the kind of pollen used to produce the honey, it is known that certain honey contain a bacteria that will cause stomach cramp and blood poisoning, that the immature immune system cannot handle.


Royal Bee Natural Products Pvt Ltd. said...

The information which you have provided is very good. It is very useful who is looking for Honey Manufacturers.

James Jacobs said...

I think this article was informative, well written, and provocative. It made me angry that such a perfect food would ever be adulterated and then foisted upon uneducated people. Honey is even good for diabetics(in lesser doses ) because of its gentle glycemic load.

Anonymous said...

I have a question? do most companies sell impure honey?