Separation of Honey


This question is generally asked by so many people. The reason for this is that people would like to protect the quality of their honey and be sure about the quality of honey. However, we cannot give an exact time or phase about the separation of honey. The answer to this question changes according to the ingredients that honey includes. This is because the speed of crystallization depends on the proportions of glucose and fructose, and the amount of water in honey.

Generally, the proportion of fructose in honey is more than glucose’s percentage. If the fructose’s proportion is just slightly more than glucose’s proportion, the speed of separation is getting faster. In other words, If the honey’s fructose proportion is considerably more than glucose, the speed of the crystallization decreases. The time of crystallization shows us the source of honey rather than its quality.  To sum up, we can say that there is no exact time for honey’s crystallization, and it changes according to the percentages of glucose, fructose, and water.



In addition to this, if the honey is made by bees who are fed with sugar syrup, the honey’s sucrose proportion will be high. As a result of this situation, the honey will be crystallized much later. Even though the honey which is separated is real, some people think that this situation indicates that the honey is artificial. At this point, we should highlight that this idea is completely wrong. Besides, if the honey separated much later, sugar syrup may be used in the honey-making process.

It is also important to mention that some kinds of honey fully crystallize, while others crystallize as layers. Some kinds of honey have small crystals, while others have larger, lumpy crystals. While the fast- crystallized honeys have more paste appearance, the slow crystallizes are lumpier. When the honey is crystallized, it becomes lighter because the glucose crystals are pure white.

Organic genuine honey is not heated and subjected to filtration. For this reason, there must be some wax, pollen, and propolis. This creates a suitable environment for crystallization. These tiny particles form the nucleus for glucose crystals and the crystal is formed around them. Many commercial kinds of honey are filtered, heated and even the smallest particles in it are separated, and the existing crystals dissolve well. As such, honey cannot be crystallized.



On the other hand, another factor about the separation of honey is a connection between crystallization and temperature. The crystallization process starts between 5 Celcius and 7 Celcius. If the honey storage under these temperatures, the separation will be late. Honey crystallizes the most at 14 Celcius. While the processed honey should be stored at 18 Celcius -24 Celcius, unprocessed honey should be stored at a temperature below 10 Celcius. Additionally, comb honey crystallize later than run honey. Again, heat-treated honey does not crystallize for a long time.

Is Separated Honey Still Good?

This question is asked by consumers frequently. At this point, it should be mention that there is no change in the chemical properties of the crystallized honey. It is even one of the popular consumption patterns in western countries. Especially in the USA and European countries, the cream honey form obtained by crystallizing in a controlled way is one of the most consumed forms.

Additionally, we should highlight that there is no need to prevent the crystallization of honey. The crystallization of honey is a completely natural phenomenon and there is no harm in consuming the honey in crystal form. This is also not a sign of chemical deterioration, but a physical change. Honey can also be consumed directly in crystal form. Moreover, since the valuable components in raw honey are preserved, it shows high antibacterial activity.

How Do You Fix Crystallized Honey?

First of all, there are various solutions to fix crystallized honey. The first and most popular solution is the hot water bath. If it is desired to reintegrate, it will be sufficient to treat the honey, which started to crystallize, with a water bath of 45-50 Celcius to restore it in home conditions. Thanks to this method, crystallized honey can be fixed.



The most important point to be considered in this practical method is that honey is not directly treated with fire in order not to lose its unique properties. Depending on the source of the honey, the defrosting process can take several days at 45-50 Celcius.

Secondly, another useful practical method is using a microwave oven. If you are looking for a faster solution then a further method, you can use a microwave oven. The crystallized honey can be heated in the microwave oven for 30 seconds. Then it is cooled down for 20 seconds and stir while doing so. Then heat it again for 30 seconds.

Moreover, if you are going to use the microwave method to dissolve the honey, make sure that the honey is not in the plastic container. Otherwise, the plastic may melt in the microwave. Glass is always the healthiest and safest.

How Do You Make Honey Runny Again?

For making honey runny again, we can use various heating methods such as microwave oven and hot water. For example, we can heat honey in a microwave oven twice and mix it during the period.



If we do not have suitable equipment for implementing this method, we can use hot water for making honey runny again. In this method, we should prepare hot water which is approximately 45-50 Celcius, and pour it in a pot. After this step, we can put the honey jar inside the hot water. Here, I should mention that these stages should be repeated several days.

What Is the Difference Between Runny Honey and Set Honey?

Set honey is a spreadable product, like butter, obtained by controlling the crystallization of honey. To ensure that the crystallization process takes place in a homogeneous and appropriate texture and the crystallization process begins, a certain amount of crystallized honey, previously processed as set honey, is added to the runny honey as a starter and the product is turned into set honey by storing it at the appropriate temperature.

Can Honey Go Off?

The main reason for going off is bacteria. Bacteria are fed with sugar and other substances in the foods they contain. After a while, they secrete acid and other chemicals as waste. These chemicals cause changes in the color, smell, and taste of the food.



Like many other life forms, bacteria need water to survive. Almost all of the food contains water, while honey has almost no water. This ensures that there are no favorable conditions for bacteria to grow and survive. Too little water in honey is not enough for bacteria to survive. The honey, which is stored with the lid open, will deteriorate by interacting with the air. However, honey in a jar without a lid can remain intact for centuries. Honey in closed jars crystallizes and hardens. However, this does not mean that it went off.

Can Bacteria Grow in Honey?

Honey is an organic product. Because of this feature, it is generally asked that is honey contains any bacteria. Since honey has an antibacterial property, the microorganism cannot live and multiply in it. All bee products have therapeutic properties besides protecting general health and body resistance. Antibacterial properties of honey; It is due to its acidic structure, to the extent that it contains hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic substance that is formed as a result of the breakdown of glucose with enzymes and also dry matter (sugar). Highly sugar-containing honey, a highly water-borne disease factor causes the microorganism to die or reproduce by losing water, showing its antibacterial effect.



Finally, honey does not contain bacteria. All living beings need some moisture to survive. When bacteria come into contact with honey, it lacks moisture and disappears. Also, the acidic effect of honey creates an unsuitable environment for bacteria to survive.

Is It Ok to Eat Honey That Has Crystallized?

If honey was stored and protected correctly, it can be consumed even if it crystallized. This is because crystallizing is only a chemical change, the ingredient of honey remains stable. Therefore, it can be consumed without hesitation. However, we should mention that crystallization is not only featured which should be checked by us. We should also watch storage conditions.

Can Old Honey Make You Sick?

We cannot understand whether the honey will make us sick only by looking at whether the honey is old or not. Because honey is a durable food. Honey has some properties that make it last longer, including high sugar and low moisture content. Also, its acidic nature and antimicrobial enzymes are a factor.



80% of honey consists of sugar and this rate prevents the development of many bacteria and fungi. High sugar content means that the osmotic pressure of the honey is too high. This causes water to withdraw from the cells of microbes and prevents them from multiplying by development. Also, although it has 17-18% water, the activity of water in honey is very low. In other words, the sugars in the honey interact with the water molecules and therefore cannot be used by microorganisms, and fermentation and honey deterioration cannot occur.

Also, honey is dense and cannot easily dissolve in oxygen. This prevents the development of many types of microbes. Also, honey is acidic food. The pH level of honey varies from 3.4 to 6.1 and on average is usually around 3.9, which is quite acidic. The main reason for this is gluconic acid, which is produced during the maturation of nectar.

In the past, the acidic structure of honey was thought to be what prevents the development of microbes. However, studies conducted between high and low pH varieties did not show any significant differences between microbe activities. However, the acidic environment for bacteria such as C.diphtheriae, E.coli, Streptococcus, and Salmonella is detrimental and prevents their development. Even honey is so effective in perishing certain types of bacteria that can be used to prevent and treat infections in burns and ulcers.



Honey can be spoiled under certain conditions and cause disease despite its antimicrobial properties. For example, honey may be contaminated. There are bacteria, fungi, and mold found naturally in honey. These can come from pollen, the digestive system of the bee, dust, air, and flowers. Due to the antimicrobial properties of honey, these organisms are usually very small and do not pose a health problem as they cannot reproduce.

Honey is generally harmless to adults, but in infants under one year of age, they can rarely cause botulism and cause nervous system damage, paralysis, and respiratory bankruptcy. Therefore, honey is not suitable for children in this age group. Also, they may indicate that there may be second contamination from humans, equipment, containers, wind, insects, animals, or water during the processing of high amounts of microorganisms in honey.

Another possibility is that honey can contain Toxic Components. While bees collect nectar from certain types of flowers, vegetable poisons can switch to honey. Honey produced from some plants causes dizziness, nausea, and heart rhythm and blood pressure disorders.

On the other hand, other items may have joined. Honey is expensive and time-consuming food. For this reason, contributions have been made for years. So cheap sweeteners are added to increase the volume and reduce the cost. To make production cheaper, bees feed on sugar syrups, or syrups can be added directly to honey. Also, to speed up the process, honey can be harvested before it matures, and therefore has higher, unsafe water content.



Normally, bees store honey in the hive and allow its water to evaporate, thereby making it less than 18% water. If the honey is collected too early, the water content can be over 25%. This increases the risk of fermentation and bad taste.

Another point which can cause sickness is stored honey incorrectly. If honey is stored incorrectly, it may lose some of its antimicrobial properties, become contaminated and begin to deteriorate. When exposed and not properly closed, the water content can exceed the safe level of 18%, creating a risk of fermentation. Also, open jars and containers can cause honey to get infected from the environment. If the water rate increases, these bacteria can develop. Heating the honey at high temperatures also speeds up the negative effects such as deterioration of its color and aroma and also increases the content of HMF.

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Savaş Ateş

I like eating honey a lot. We have a huge interest in bees and how they make honey. I have visited honey farms. I have talked to a lot of honey sellers. I read a lot of books about them. I want to share my knowledge with you.

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