It is a fact that all-natural types of honey will get hardened eventually. Getting hardened is honey’s natural process. It varies which kind of honey you have, some of them harden later than others, some of them can harden within a few weeks.
We usually tent to throw away honey when it got hardened. But is it a bad thing though? You can find the answer to this question and a couple of related ones under this topic.
Firstly, we need to find an answer to our main question. As I said in the first paragraph all kinds of natural honey will get hardened eventually, there is nothing we can do to prevent this from happening. But the real question is that is it a bad thing? Well, science shows us that it is not.
It’s a sign of high-quality honey. Don’t throw your crystallized honey out, unless you like to waste delicious food.
When your honey got hardened, it is just because your honey is crystallizing. I can figure out you’ll be asking what the crystallization is. Maybe you can associate with when I say that the crystallization is known as “becoming sugary”. The crystallization of honey is similar to the process used to make rock candy in schools.
To explain a little more, the reason why honey gets crystallized is overdose sugar. To elucidate scientifically, any regular natural honey generally contains %70 sugar, %20 water, and %10 other elements. (vitamins, enzymes, propolis, beeswax, etc.) Within these percentages, the amount of sugar is far over remain reduced in this amount of water which makes it a supersaturated solution.
In detail, honey contains 2 different sugar types inside which are called fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose. (grape sugar) After harvesting honey from the bee nest, the water and sugar level of the honey can’t remain identical. It is a fact that fructose dissolves much more easily than glucose. As a result of this, the chains of glucose within the honey begin to impart.
After glucose molecules begin to decompose from sugar and water, first they attach to solid grains in honey then connect themselves. Due to the number of glucose inside the honey, it starts to become more independent from the water and begins to make by itself as crystals. Fructose continuous to be liquid inside honey. The rationale of why glucose crystals seem lighter in color is thanks to the structure of glucose crystals. Originally glucose crystals are pure white. After crystallization, it becomes more viscous and solid compared to the original structure.
This is the reason why all types of honey got crystallized eventually. After crystallization takes place honey becomes more hardened than before.
As a result of this, as you can see that crystallization and become hardened are a natural process, hardened honey is not bad at all. This is the only difference between regular honey and hardened honey; only the shape, not the taste. You can freely enjoy your honey with its solid form.
Some Other Related Questions Asked Under This Topic
Is Honey That’s Crystallized Still Good?
Actually yes, you’ll be able to eat your crystallized honey with peace of mind. As a manner of fact, it’s the natural honey that crystallizes eventually, usually fake or processed honey don’t tent to get crystallized or even if it does, it gets crystallized after months or years after.
It is still good to use because honey never got expired or root. Honey is probably the only eatable product that never gets expired, well of course except water. It is not a chance or a supernatural event that the honey found in the Egyptian pyramids hundreds of years later are still intact.
It’s even tastier to evet honey when it got hardened. The reason why is that thanks to its solid shape, it takes longer to melt on your mouth, and it gives you twice a time to enjoy and realize the taste of your honey. Even some group of people prefers to wait for honey until it got hardened my purpose because it doesn’t give overwhelming sweeten taste that liquid honey gives.
What Do You Do With Solidified Honey?
It changes one to another about what do you want to do with your solidified honey. Some people like its solid consistency and find it easier to eat.
For instance, some people including myself enjoy having honey solidified because it’s easier to spread on bread, it is easier to mix it up inside of a tea or milk. Another reason why some people enjoy it’s hardened structure because it is less sweet than regular honey. Being crystallized makes honey less sweeten than its actual liquid form.
But if you still don’t like the solid-state of honey, then you’ll always be able to turn it to its solid form. You can easily turn solidified honey to liquid form with the gadgets everyone owns at their houses. The only equipment is a bowl and hot water.
All you have to do is first, heat some water with a kettle microwave or teapot. After it begins to simmer, turn down the warmth off, pour hot water in an exceeding bowl. Put your honey jar within a bowl stuffed with hot water. Seize your honey’s situation, you’ll be seizing it’s beginning to turn back to liquid. You can apply this method with all kinds of honey.
You may want to note a little detail. You need to be careful about the temperature of the water which you dipped your honey into. Because if it’s way hotter than it should have been then you might destroy all of the vitamins and enzymes inside your honey. As a result of this honey’s taste can go bad, the color can change to darker.
Is It Safe to Eat Old Honey?
As a manner of fact, there is not such a thing as old honey. It doesn’t matter when you bought honey it never gets old. There is not the slightest difference between the honey you bought yesterday or 6 months ago. It will, however, crystallize over time. That’s why it is certainly safe to eat honey no matter how long ago you have bought it.
Can Honey Go Bad and Make You Sick?
Honey has some antimicrobial properties that ensure that honey does not spoil. Nevertheless, it can burst off or cause sickness under some specific circumstances such as contamination, adulteration, incorrect storage, and degradation over time.
Firstly, the microbes naturally present in honey are bacteria, yeast, and moulds. Those microbes can come through air, pollens, dirt, flower, and bees. Due to honey’s antimicrobial properties, those are only found a really small amount of inside the honey and that’s why they cannot multiply which makes them not worthy to care about.
On the other hand, spores are found %15 percent inside the honey. This is mainly harmless for adults but not for babies. There is a small possibility that babies under the age of 1 can develop infant botulism which may cause damage to their system, paralysis, and respiratory failure. Therefore, it is suggested not to give honey to babies under the age of 1.
Secondly, during collecting nectar from some specific kind of flowers, bees often carry some plant toxins with them. I’m sure some of you heard of mad honey which causes by grayanotoxins in nectar from rhododendron panticum and azalea pantica. The plants often cause dizziness, nausea, heart rhythm, and blood pressure.
Additionally, a substance referred to as hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is produced during the processing and aging of honey. There are some researches shows that HMF has some negative effects, damaging cells and DNA. It is recommended by experts that finished products must not contain more than 40 mg HMF per kilogram of honey.
Thirdly, honey is an expensive and time-consuming product to produce that’s in the sector adulteration is a sadly common thing. With adulteration, they add some cheap sweeteners to extend the volume and reduce costs.
To produce a cheaper product, a bee may be fed with sugar syrups from corn, reed, and beet sugar. Those sweeteners can be added directly to the finished product.
Sometimes to hurry up the process, honey could be harvested before its time. Normally, bees store honey within the hive and dehydrate so that it contains less than %18 of water. If you harvest honey sooner, you supposed to be the water inside of it might be more than %25. This leads to a way higher risk of fermentation and bad taste.
Fourthly, incorrect storage leads to losing some of honey’s antimicrobial properties, they become contaminated or start to degrade. If the honey is forgotten left open or sealed wrongly the water content might start to rise above %18 which increases the risk of fermentation.
Except for this, open jars can allow the honey to become contaminated with microbes from the encompassing environment.
Heating honey at high temperatures can even have negative effects by speeding up the degradation of color and flavor further as increasing the HMF content.
Should Honey Be Refrigerated?
If you are trying to work out the simplest way to store your honey you don’t need to, it is a waste of your time. That is because within the most technical sense honey never goes bad.
If you want to keep your honey fresh as long as possible then it is necessary, you to store your honey correctly. There are some suggestions I can give you to store your honey but there is just one place you never store your honey; the refrigerator. Keeping honey inside of a fridge only increases the speed of getting crystallized, turning honey from its liquid form too thick and lighten.
Honey will crystallize within the hive if the temperature goes under 10 degrees, and honey will crystallize in your jars if you have got a chilly cupboard cabinet.
On the other hand, the jar you utilize to store your honey is important too. As an example, you wouldn’t want to store your honey in metal. In keeping with the food safety, experts do not suggest using metal containers because the acid inside the honey will rust the metal container. The similar thing goes by for the ceramic cups too, they are not useful for long term storage.
The best way to store honey is at room temperature inside the kitchen, in a dark cabinet preserves color and flavor. Honey should be stored in tightly-sealed lid containers. If you are thinking about what type of container you should choose for storage, glass, or plastic is fine. It is perfectly okay to re-use a glass jar with a tight lid too. However, because honey can absorb moisture and odors you shouldn’t re-use an old pickle jar. It probably will give a little pickle aroma to your honey.
You can surely use large-mouth glass jars for long term storage. You can spoon out as much as you need even if it crystallizes. These large containers (half-gallon) will hold a lot of product but are not too heavy to lift. Smaller amounts can easily be transferred to a serving container.
Honey can be stored frozen place liquid in a container with room for expansion. Freezing protects the integrity of unprocessed honey. Honey can be frozen for several years. When you are ready to use, melt at room temp in sealed containers. It’s better to use silicone trays to freeze small portions. A great way to seek relief for sore throat pains or coughs, just pop out a frozen “cube” and put it in hot tea.
How Can You Tell If Honey Is Real?
The best quality of honey comes from its natural habitat so a good starting point would be reading to labels. If there are words like “raw, natural, forest honey, organic” they will be safer than regular honey. But because of the possibility of adulteration, you can never be sure. Don’t worry, there are some other ways the separate the raw natural honey from adulterated ones;
The Thumb Test
Put a small amount of honey onto your thumb seize if it spills or spreads like any other liquids. If it does, then your honey just might not be pure. Real honey is thick and sticks to the surface it is applied to and doesn’t drip away.
The Water Test
Take a spoon of honey and put it into a glass of water. Pure honey has a denser texture; it will settle at the bottom of the glass while adulterated honey will dissolve.
The Flame Test
Pure honey is inflammable. If you take a dry matchstick and dip it into honey and strike the matchstick against the matchbox it lights. If it doesn’t lighten it might be adulterated.
Mix a tablespoon of honey, water, and 3 drops of vinegar. If the mixture foams up there is a very high chance that your honey could also be adulterated.
The Heat Test
If you warm pure honey, it will caramelize quickly and not become foamy. But this is not accurate for adulterated honey, it won’t be caramelized or become bubbly on heating.