In the discussions made by experts about health, some elements about the structure of honey draw attention. Besides, the public also has some thoughts on these issues. Experts and the public talk about honey becoming granulated over time (or crystallizing, as people say in everyday language). It hardens after a while. Some people who see it think about what caused this condition. These people question whether the crystallization of honey means that it has expired. And these people believe that the hardening of honey means there is something harmful in it. They think maybe this honey is fake and it is not safe to consume. Some people interpreted this as using sugar syrup in it. People don’t like this state of honey, because of the granular feeling it leaves in the mouth while eating. For this reason, many people throw these kinds of it away.
The crystalline state of honey is due to glucose, one of the natural sugar portals in it, forming crystals by binding to any small part of a substance that it can find over time. These crystals combine. Eventually, the honey solidifies. This process depends on the nature of the pollen in the honey, the air bubbles contained in the honey, the amount of pollen and others, the natural sugar structures and volume in the honey.
Factors in Honey Crystallization
The type of nectar that bees use for honey affects how quickly the honey crystallizes. The flower nectar used to make it affects the balance of glucose (grape sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar) in the honey produced by bees, these rates are 30-44% fructose progression and 25-40% glucose, and these are the two factors involved in crystallization. The crystallization of honey begins fastest in pasteurized ham honey, alfalfa, lavender, cotton, mesquite, and dandelion honey to extract bee glue (aka propolis), pollen, and beeswax naturally found in it.
Clover honey has become popular in organic honey consumption in recent years due to its light consistency. This honey is dense and sweet syrup produced by bees collecting the nectar of the clover plant. The alfalfa plant is a common, weather-resistant nectar source that honey bees often prefer.
Lavender honey is a type of monofloral honey (single flower honey) that bees predominantly collect nectars of lavender flowers. People often use lavender for its intense relaxing, soothing, soothing, and calming properties. It is also known to be beneficial in liver failure.
Dandelion honey is one of the rare varieties of bee products. The reason for this is that the plant’s nectar has a bitter taste. Therefore, the bees do not try to collect it. Despite its bitter taste, this product is recommended by experts because it contains many beneficial elements for health. However, these four kinds of honey crystallize quickly due to the high level of glucose in general. Although this does not affect those who attach importance to organic honey, it affects their consumption.
Bees produce cotton honey by carrying both the nectar secreted from cotton flowers and the secretory nectar found in other parts of the plant to the hive. Cotton honey is light yellow. When it crystallizes, the color of honey becomes white. Mesquite honey includes plants of the genus Prosopis, which consists of more than 40 species of small legume trees that grow in deserts and scrub areas in the southwestern United States and northeast Mexico.
Honey made from the nectar of rapeseed (canola) plants crystallizes so quickly that beekeepers have difficulty removing it from the comb. Studies have revealed that the temperature at which honey is grainy is between 12 and 14 degrees.
Some types of honey crystallize properly; Some honey crystallizes in some honey. The crystallized part forms two separate layers at the bottom of the jar and liquid puddles at the top. There are also differences in the size of the crystals formed in honey. Some kinds of honey form fine crystals, while others have large, sandy crystals. The faster the honey crystallizes, the finer the texture will be.
Contrary to What’s Known, Fake Honey Doesn’t Crystallize for a Long Time!
Unnatural honey (honey with added sugar syrups or overheated honey) takes a long time to crystallize, and fake honey may not crystallize at all. This situation is one of the best ways to tell if it is fake or not. However, it can be hard to decide between the different brands and varieties of fake honey available on the market when not purchased directly from a beekeeper.
Experts state that almost three-quarters of the honey sold in some markets and retailers are not natural honey. These are honey that is free of pollen, enzymes, and vitamins. The consumer generally does not like to crystallize in it. Therefore, honey packaging companies delay the crystallization process by applying heat treatment above 110 degrees to honey and filtering honey. In this way, they offer the smooth, brightly colored honey seen on the market shelves for sale. This situation reduces the quality of honey and increases the rate of carcinogenic substances. And it causes honey to be just a sweetener. However, people consume processed honey because it looks better and tastes better than crystallized honey.
Although consumers preferred processed honey often treated in Turkey, consumers in some developed countries do not buy processed honey. The crystallization of it is an indication of naturalness for consumers in developed countries. Besides, every crystallized honey does not mean precious it. For example, sunflower honey, which is cheap and available easily, is one of the honey that crystallizes very quickly. However, since there are no large sunflower fields on organic agriculture, experts cannot produce sunflower honey organically. As it is inexpensive flower honey, this honey is used by large honey companies either for export or to mix some into other flower honey.
Experts at the Turkish Ministry of Agriculture and Foresty do not accept claims in their studies of bee products and properties that ‘the crystallization of honey (or the granulation/hardening process) means that it is fake or artificial. This study explains that since it consists of nectar, bees process honey and inoculate it with special enzymes, and that honey crystallizes thanks to glucose, one of these enzymes. In other words, the crystallization of it is a naturally occurring state.
Sometimes honey crystallizes before it leaves the hive. This situation does not harm the chemical structure of it or make it toxic. It only causes changes physically. Crystallized honey tends to set a lighter/ pale color when in liquid form. Because glucose sugar tends to split into crystals and glucose crystals are white in their natural state. Liquid honey keeps it brownish.
What Exactly Makes Honey Crystalline?
Approximately 70% of honey is sugar. Less than 20% is water. A small amount of water is not sufficient for all sugar to remain dissolved forever. Excessive sugar abundance renders honey unstable, especially as ambient temperature drops. Therefore, a physical change process begins over time. This process is the dehydration of glucose (it becomes monohydrate) honey becomes viscous, glucose (one of the three sugar structures in it) becomes saturated in proportion, glucose molecules collapse in the honey to crystallize. Particles called crystals immobilize the other components, thus forming a semi-solid texture in this sweet.
Can Honey Be Consumed In Crystal Form?
People can consume honey in crystal form. When they put it in their mouth for a while, it melts. This situation does not contain any health hazards. Many people say that adding crystallized honey to their tea or coffee is the best way to sweeten it. It is in crystalline form in some recipes, and people can eat it with toast or cake. They can add honey to yogurt or cereal. Or they can make it like hard candy and eat it for energy.
Optionally, people can spread it on toast and sandwiches as a sauce and eat it with peanut butter. People also use honey in a consistency known as creamy, twisted, crushed, or whipped honey. In this recipe, the crystallized honey is mixed at regular intervals and gets a nice consistency. People can use this recipe to reduce the hardness of it and prevent/delay its crystallization. However, if you want to slow down the crystallization process of natural honey, this is also possible.
It is also possible to exfoliate with crystallized honey.
Application: you should infuse 1-handful green tea and 3-teaspoons of crystallized honey in 2 glasses of boiling water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the crystallized honey on your face by massaging it with your fingertips. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes. Then strain the tea and wash the skin thoroughly with this warm tea.
What Can Be Done To Postpone Honey Crystallization?
It is best to store honey at room temperature (24-27 ºC) to delay freezing in places such as a kitchen cabinet or cellar. Besides, an issue to be considered is that honey does not get direct sunlight, kept away from the heat source. Exposure to excessive heat (above 40 ºC) causes beneficial enzymes and amino acids in it to lose value.
If the honey crystallizes, put the bowl in a bowl of hot water (less than half the honey bottle) or a medium-low saucepan (if you have a casserole or slow cooker, you can use them for this process) and heat slowly. If you make a double boiler heating process by mixing honey occasionally, it will dissolve and return to the liquid state. The hot water part of the kitchen faucet is usually not hot enough to damage the honey or its container (plastic, glass, etc.). Therefore, you can keep the honey underwater for a while, heat it without damaging it, and make it liquid. To be sure, it’s a good idea to use a thermometer the first time you use this method.
Keeping honey on the heater can also work in this process, but the temperature must be under control. You can also get creamy honey by mixing it in a hand blender after heating it. This state of honey will slow down the crystallization process further.
To keep honey in water and the airtight container is effective. Therefore, use glass jars instead of plastic. Plastic is more porous than glass. These pores cause the honey to become moist, so the honey crystallizes faster. You can also mix it with honey that has high fructose and low glucose to slow its crystallization. Fructose generally dissolves in the water, so the more fructose honey contains, the longer the crystallization process takes. The less glucose there is in it, the more delayed the glucose separates from the honey and forms crystals. Examples of low-glucose honey are Tupelo, Sage, Jujube, and Acacia honey.
Tupelo Honey is the only honey that does not crystallize and that doctors can recommend for diabetes patients. It is hard to manufacture. Beehives make this honey from pollen they collect from Tupelo trees that grow along four rivers in northwest Florida and south Georgia. Trees only bloom for three to four weeks. Therefore, a honey bee can produce about 1/12 teaspoon of Tupelo honey in its lifetime.
Sage honey has the calming properties of sage. Experts stated that consumption of 1 teaspoon of honey per day strengthens the immune system and that consumption of 1 dessert spoon in case of illness will cure many health problems. Acacia honey; It is a very privileged honey with its unique smell and taste. This drug is effective against mutual mouth inflammation in children. Jujube honey consists of the thorny plant of the jujube tree with a height of 4-5 meters belonging to the buckthorn family.
Some people use a heating blanket as an effective solution to minimize crystallization during the honey production process. Powerblanket Bee Blankets are ideal for this because they keep honey at hive temperatures and prevent nutrient loss or burning from overheating. Except for crystallization, Bee Blanket helps it stay in smooth viscosity.
Failure to consume honey at the right time can restore the granular structure. People will have to reapply the heating process for it. It is more efficient to divide it into small containers and thus heat only the necessary portion. Due to all these troublesome processes, experts have determined two-year shelf life for it.
What Should Do Not While Warming Honey? Known Wrongs!
Some people suggest ‘heating honey in the microwave’ for recovering honey, but this method is not correct. It is more difficult to control temperatures in the microwave, so it does not heat up uniformly. After the honey melt in the microwave, it crystallizes even when stored in a cellar or cupboard. Another problem is that high temperatures are likely to occur because the microwave is not precisely adjustable in the heat setting. Microwaves can cause the water in the honey to boil, altering the taste and texture of it. Besides, microwaves destroy most of the beneficial enzymes and vitamins in honey.
Some people may recommend using the top rack of your dishwasher to melt the honey in a waterproof plastic container. You may encounter serious problems at the end of the process as many dishwashers reach high temperatures, and this situation can result in a hole in the “watertight” container.
The Healthiest Honey with Low Probability of Crystallization You Can Buy Online
- Pack of 6 Raw Royal Honey (Authentic Yemen Douani Sidr Honey) Gluten-Free Non-GMO 100% Natural Raw Honey – Kosher (6 Jars 500g / 17.6oz)