Honey is an intense, durable, natural nutrient with high vitamin values, which is formed as a result of processing the sweet liquid found in plants and called nectar with some enzymes secreted in the bees’ bodies. Carrying the nutritious values of thousands of plants and flowers, honey has been used as a cure for many diseases for centuries. Honey production, on the other hand, requires a lot of effort. It is known that 17,000 bees visit about 10 million flowers in order to obtain 450 g of honey. Honey goes through many processes during production, including filtration. So do you think filtered or unfiltered honey is healthier?
Of course unfiltered honey is healthier. The filtration process is done to delay the crystallization process of honey. Pollen grains (giving honey enzymes and vitamins) in honey cause honey to crystallize earlier. For this reason, a filtration process in the micron range removes the pollen particles in the honey, leaving late crystallizing honey with a low vitamin and mineral content.
In order to be able to talk about the benefits of honey, a very valuable bee product obtained from the hive, this honey must be pasteurized and unfiltered “raw honey”. In this way, it is possible to preserve the natural nutrient content of honey. Processes such as pasteurization and filtration on honey are applied for reasons such as preventing crystallization (solidification of the honey) and cause a decrease in naturally occurring pollens, vitamins, enzymes, phenolics, and flavonoids in honey. When honey is offered for consumption raw, its nutritional value is highest and it is a completely natural product.
After the bees are full and the honey mature, they coat the combs with beeswax. In the process known as “honey harvesting”, beekeepers remove the combs from the hive and scrape the honeycombs to collect the honey (unglazed honey is considered immature). Then the honeycomb honey is filtered by the beekeeper from the combs in the straining mill. The next stage is the process of shipping the honey to the honey packaging facility. The honey that reaches the facility from the beekeeper is sampled on a beekeeper basis and its quality and compliance with food safety are analyzed in the laboratory for quality control. If the honey is in compliance with the quality standards, in other words, if it is 100% natural, pure, without additives, residue, it can be packaged for delivery to the consumer.
What Is Unfiltered Honey?
Many people consider unfiltered honey to be healthier than regular honey. Is that right? Is unfiltered honey healthier and what are the differences? Honey is a sweet, syrupy, golden liquid made by honey bees. Honey bees store honey in the beehive for food and nutrients. While raw honey comes directly from the hive, honey as we know it is processed before being bottled. People have been using honey medicinally for 8,000 years. Originally people used unfiltered honey, but today most honey on supermarket shelves is processed through pasteurization, which usually involves intensive heating. Many of these processed honey types may contain added sugars.
Pasteurized honey is clear and smooth. The pasteurization process improves the honey’s appearance, extends its shelf life, and kills yeast cells that can affect the taste of the honey. However, some people believe that pasteurization reduces the number of antioxidants and nutrients in honey. There are many different types of honey, each with its own characteristics. Honey; It is a food made by bees by keeping the nectar they take from flowers and fruit buds in their organs called the honey stomach.
Honey is classified as flower honey and secretion honey according to the source of production, and as raw honey, filtered honey, honeycomb honey, press honey, extra virgin honey, and filtered honey according to the method of production. The honey created by bees by taking nectar from flowers is called flower honey. Honey produced secretion on plants is called secretion honey. Most of the honey produced in the world is flower honey. Common types of honey and their properties are as follows:
- Unfiltered honey: Comes directly from the hive and is available in unfiltered forms.
- Pasteurized honey: It is pasteurized and may contain added sugar.
- Pure honey: Pasteurized but contains no added ingredients.
- Manuka honey: Manuka is made by bees that feed on the bush.
- Forest honey: Made by bees who take the honey extract from trees instead of nectar from flowers. Usually darker than other types of honey.
- Acacia honey: Made by bees that feed on the flowers of the black acacia tree. It is generally lighter than other types of honey.
The Difference Between Unfiltered Honey and Other Honey Types
Unfiltered honey comes directly from the comb. It is not pasteurized. It looks dark or opaque as it contains extra elements. It is safe to eat. Pasteurized honey naturally resists the growth of bacteria and other dangerous organisms due to its low moisture content and high acidity. However, yeast spores found naturally in the nectar used to produce honey can proliferate and cause fermentation, which, while not dangerous, can affect flavor. Some commercial producers prefer to pasteurize their products that kill residual yeasts. It also crystallizes honey quickly.
Unfiltered (raw) honey is more natural than regular honey due to honeycomb debris too small to be filtered. Raw honey tends to vary more in color and texture than regular honey. The color of raw honey can vary depending on the flowers that bees pollinate. Although there are studies showing that raw honey may be a healthier alternative than other honey, there is no clear idea. Raw honey tends to have a more complex flavor than pasteurized honey. The flavor of raw honey may be more dominant than other types.
Enjoy raw honey whipped over plain yogurt or rubbed on whole-grain toast. You can also use it in beverages, salad dressings, and any application that usually requires honey without distinguishing the variety. When you buy local honey from small beekeepers, you almost always buy “raw honey”. You are lucky if you know a honey vendor from local markets. Specialty stores, health food stores, cooperatives, and other small food stores often also sell raw honey. Depending on where you live, larger grocery stores may sell raw honey; Read labels carefully and make sure it says “raw” or “unpasteurized.” In short, you can find raw honey anywhere that contains locally sourced food.
Due to its chemical composition, it often has an indefinite shelf life. Moisture and light can cause honey to crystallize and heat to liquefy, but in either case, it is still safe to eat. Honey is stored for a long time in a tightly closed glass jar in a dark cellar or cupboard. Liquid honey stays syrupy in a warmer place, such as a cupboard near the stove. Creamy or whipped honey should be stored in a cooler place. You can put it in the fridge, but it will be difficult to use.
If your raw honey becomes grainy, you can “liquefy” it again by soaking the jar in a bowl of warm water until the sugar crystals dissolve. Note that this is a temporary solution; After crystallization, the honey quickly recrystallizes as it cools. 1 tablespoon of honey contains about 60 calories and 17 grams of natural sugar. It also contains some vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, but the nutrient profile can vary greatly depending on the type of flower used in the production of bees. Honey should not be given to children younger than 1 year of age due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which can develop in a low oxygen environment of honey.
How Is Honey Filtered? What Is Filtration?
The removal of solid particles such as bee pollen from the natural structure of honey is called filtration. Filtration is a process that looks quite similar on the surface but is quite different and reduces the health benefits of honey. All that is done in the honey filtration process is to separate the wax pieces from the non-viscous honey using some type of cheesecloth. Pollen passes through the screen thanks to its fine structure – which is desirable. However, the filtering process also separates small particles such as pollen from the honey and causes the honey to move away from its raw state.
Another process called pressure filtering is used in larger-scale production, bottling honey-like soda bottles. We’re talking about mega-machines that gush honey at super speed. The trouble with this process is that the temperature is generally kept high in order to make it easier to work with honey; The higher the temperature, the more liquid the honey is. However, this process does not only mean that the honey is pasteurized; at the same time, it ensures that the honey is purified from the elements that make honey. Bee pollen is one of the factors that cause crystallization in honey. A detailed filtration process is carried out to prevent crystallization.
The enzymes of the substance obtained by pasteurization, that is, cooking and changing its structure, are dead. Honey, which is subjected to a fine filtration in order not to crystallize, has completely or partially lost its pollen. Some people think that raw honey and organic honey are the same things; however not. Organic honey is honey that does not have any chemical residue in the flowers where the bees collect nectar. Simple, right? As long as beekeepers control where the bees are going, they know they get honey from organic flowers. However, it is impossible to always know where the bees are going; Because bees can fly up to 8 kilometers to find flowers that can collect enough nectar.
Therefore, experts in quality control should determine that all flowers in a large area around the hive are organic. There are many farmers in the market who claim that their honey is organic. They don’t have to be liars, but they can also have incredible confidence that their bees know very well where they are going. However, the only way to truly guarantee and control which flowers the bees visit is to take measures in different ways. But who would try so hard for honey bees? Even keeping them alive these days is so difficult.
Unfiltered honey on the other hand is unprocessed honey that has not lost its natural honey enzymes and preserves its value because it does not lose its pollen. In other words, it is a honey produced without interfering with the work of bees. There are two main factors that determine the raw maturity of honey: temperature and texture. The technical definition of raw honey is rather cursory: it means that it is not heated after pasteurization. So what does that mean? To understand this, first of all, it is necessary to understand what is inside a beehive.
When honeybees are at work, their collective body temperature rises and ultimately warms their workplace – honey. The temperature of an active hive is around 35 ° C and the honey stays stable and ‘alive’ at this temperature – more precisely, the enzymes that give honey its nutritional quality remain alive. As long as the temperature of the honey does not exceed 35 C, honey is not pasteurized and remains raw. As long as the honey is not heated enough to pass the hive’s heat, this pure honey is still in its raw state.
Heat treatment of foodstuffs from 60 ° C to 100 ° C is called pasteurization. With the pasteurization process, microorganisms and enzymes generally found in foodstuffs are killed and the shelf life of the foodstuff is extended. The reason for pasteurization in honey is completely different from other foodstuffs. Honey is pasteurized in order to eliminate the “crystallization” phenomenon, popularly known as saccharification.
When people are looking for raw honey, they usually prefer jars that look opaque and contain black spots. When they open the jar, they hope they will find almost solid, sandy, and pasty honey. However, honey with these properties can contain everything that could potentially come out of a hive: honey, beeswax, pollen, bee resin, royal jelly, and even the bee itself. Those black spots? They may have relationships with the bees’ legs. (But don’t worry, bees are very hygienic animals.) Many people are unable to cope with this reality and have some kind of inner struggle between what they think is the best for their health and what they really want to eat.
But remember, being ‘raw’ isn’t about texture, it’s about the heat. However, it should be noted that these additional ‘things’ in honey also have special benefits; so it’s worth the money and effort spent. When honey is taken from the comb using a centrifuge, it leaves plenty of wax behind. After most of the honey has been drained, small pieces of wax are also removed. This process is called straining and the product is pure honey. This is the clear, golden-colored liquid found in jars labeled ‘raw honey’. As long as the honey is not heated enough to pass the hive’s heat, this pure honey is still in a raw state.
The Difference Between Unfiltered Honey & Filtered Honey
Honey is an amber-colored sweet liquid made by bees by collecting millions of flower nectars. It’s packed with hundreds of beneficial plant compounds, amino acids, many vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Raw Honey plays a helpful role in balancing blood sugar (glycemia) levels. Honey’s Antifungal, Antiviral, and Antibacterial properties have been shown to be good for wounds, provide energy to the body, beneficial for throat infections, cough, and sore throat, and fight harmful bacteria – microbes.
It is also packed with healthy carbohydrates and is one of the essential foods of the “Paleo Diet” as it is a fast energy source. Honey is also a great substitute for sugar. Honey types are unequal in their benefits and quality. The biggest difference between unfiltered honey and other types of honey on sale is how honey is processed and filtered. Honey that is not labeled as raw or uncooked is most likely processed pasteurized honey.
For years, there has been a debate about which type of honey (Unfiltered honey or Filtered honey) is healthier. Natural Honey means there are no artificial additives in it. But it was probably processed. Pure Honey means it contains no additives. Such as corn syrup, sugar or sweetener, etc. Raw Honey means it contains absolutely no additives and has not been processed and pasteurized.
There are definite differences between Unfiltered honey and Pasteurized honey such as taste, aroma, some health benefits, color, and texture. Unfiltered honey comes directly from the hive of the bees without any processing and is a superfood made by honey bees. Unfiltered honey is defined as coming to our table the way it came out of the beehive. Unfiltered honey is made by removing the comb from the hive and straining the honey to separate it from the comb. After straining, the honey is bottled and ready to be consumed. It is not processed commercially or chemically in any way. Pure and healthy from the hive to your home!
The biggest difference between unfiltered honey from other honey is that it is filtered only to separate it from the comb, preserving most of the beneficial nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and most importantly, the pollen in honey. Unfiltered honey crystallizes in a natural process. Crystallized opaque colored honey is often misunderstood. Actually, real honey is healthy and raw unpasteurized honey! All other honey types are intensively ultrafiltrated with pasteurization processes. The honey in this honey reduces the nutritional values that make honey and the flower pollen is filtered. Miraculous vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes of honey are no longer present.
The vast majority of honey you see in grocery stores is pasteurized to prevent fermentation and crystallization. Pasteurization is the process in which honey is heated and filtered at high temperatures to prevent it from fermenting and granulating, to extend its shelf life, and to kill microorganisms. In other words, with the processes that no beneficial microorganisms can survive, a clear, sparkling, golden honey is obtained to make it look more beautiful to consumers.
The label on the commercially produced honey states whether it has been pasteurized or not. There are also production tracking codes for honey. Unfiltered honey contains 64 calories in a tablespoon. It does not contain oil. Unfiltered honey is packed with high nutritional values. The nutritional elements and values vary depending on the region where the beehive is located, the height of the region, vegetation, etc. The darker the honey color, the higher the level of nutrients it contains.
There are 22 amino acids and more than 5 thousand enzymes in a tablespoon of honey. Minerals in unfiltered honey content: Zinc, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and 31 different minerals. Unfiltered honey vitamins: Riboflavin, A, C, D, E, B6, riboflavin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and niacin. Unfiltered honey also contains antioxidants. Unfiltered honey has many properties not found in filtered honey, such as antioxidants, antivirals, antioxidants, and atherosclerosis, and helps strengthen the immune system.
It also contains fructooligosaccharides that increase anti-inflammatory effects, bifidobacteria acting as probiotics, and lactobacilli. To summarize; Unfiltered Honey contains many beneficial – healthy ingredients not found in pasteurized filtered honey. Unfiltered honey has potent properties that are lacking in commercial honey types, protecting all beneficial enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, antivirals, antioxidants, and atherosclerosis.
Useful Information About Unfiltered Honey
Unfiltered honey, in other words, raw honey is honey in which all its natural vitamins, live enzymes, pollen, and all other nutrients are preserved. Therefore, it is honey that preserves the raw honey value in the best way. Raw honey is the most original type of honey produced by the honey bee from the concentrated nectar of flowers and obtained directly from the comb without processing and pasteurization.
This type of honey contains substances similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It does not ferment in the stomach and can be used against acid indigestion. When mixed with ginger and lemon juice, it effectively relieves nausea and energizes. The presence of amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen that helps starchy foods such as bread and its extraordinary nutritional values, is more than enough to prefer raw honey.
Most honey available in the markets is not raw honey, but “commercial” ordinary honey. These honey types are pasteurized. (Heated to 70 degrees Celsius or higher, then allowed to cool quickly). These honey types have been made smoother, more attractive on the shelf, and easier to handle and pack as a result of the processes they see.
Pasteurization kills every single yeast cell in honey and prevents fermentation, which is a concern for the storage of honey with high moisture content over a long period of time, especially in hot weather. While fermentation does not pose a health hazard (beeswax is fermented) it affects the taste of honey. Heating also slows the crystallization rate in liquid honey. The downside is that when honey is heated, its delicate flavors, yeasts, and enzymes that activate vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed.
There is no single code using the term “raw honey” among producers. There are no strict legal requirements to qualify and label honey as “raw”. However, suppliers realizing that heat-treated honey will not be nutritious ensure that honey is only slightly heated (unpasteurized) enough to allow the honey to flow for bottling. So you can also find raw honey that has not been processed but slightly warmed to delay granulation for a short time. Using as little heat as possible is a sign of careful handling by honey suppliers.
Generally, unfiltered raw honey can only be supplied from bee farms. Raw honey appears more turbid, characterized by fine textured crystals, and contains bee pollen, honeycomb fragments, propolis, and even fragments of broken bee wings. It has raw and unfiltered honey and a high level of antioxidants and usually granulates and crystallizes to a thick consistency after a few months. However, it gives a great result when applied on hot bread or used to sweeten hot tea and similar beverages.
Why Unfiltered Honey Is Healthier?
Raw honey, also known as unfiltered honey, is a type of honey that has all nutritional values such as enzymes, vitamins, and pollen, and has not been subjected to any industrial process. It is obtained without any intervention to bees and hives and without pasteurization. Pasteurization is a heat treatment applied to foodstuffs between 60 and 100 degrees. The pasteurization process applied to honey is to prevent honey from crystallizing. However, processing the honey produced by the bee at a certain temperature (pasteurization) at a higher temperature changes the natural structure of the honey and causes the enzymes and pollens in it to be partially lost.
Most of the honey available in the market has been pasteurized. Because after this process, honey becomes easily processed and packaged. The image of raw honey is different from the image of honey that has been subjected to heat treatment. Its color is darker and blurry. Its crystallization is natural and this is reflected in its appearance. Raw honey may contain comb pieces, bee pollen, royal jelly, or bee wing pieces. This shouldn’t be a problem, because bees are hygienic creatures.
Another important point is the notion that raw honey and organic honey are the same things. Organic honey is concerned with the absence of any chemical residue in the flowers where the bees collect nectar. But since it is almost impossible to know where the bees are going, experts need to confirm that the flowers found in a large area around the hive are organic. Raw honey is stronger in nutritional content compared to heat-treated and filtered honey. For this reason, you can use your choice in this direction in your honey selection. Once you get used to its crystalline structure, you will see that it doesn’t bother you.
Honey, which is a completely natural food produced by the bees by mixing the nectar they collect from various flowers with their own enzymes, has been used by humans for thousands of years as a miracle of nature. This nutritious food, which is sometimes consumed on its own, sometimes mixed with various cold or warm drinks, and sometimes used in dessert recipes without added sugar, has many types, especially in our rich geography. While there is a large number of honey varieties available in the market, users consider more than one important criteria to make the right product selection. Perhaps the most important of these criteria is that the honey to be purchased is raw.
Raw honey means honey that has not been heat-treated in any way during the production process and has not been filtered to retain pollen. Pasteurization and filtration processes to retain pollen are used in the production process of many honey types available on the market today. These processes are applied to prevent crystallization, in other words, solidification, which may occur, for example, in honey. However, crystallization, which is a natural process, does not cause any negative consequences for honey. To summarize, unfiltered honey is the most natural, unprocessed purest form of honey.
As mentioned above, pasteurization and filtration processes applied to honey, as we mentioned above, eliminate crystallization and at the same time cause the loss of natural vitamins, enzymes, phenolic and flavonoid components in honey. In other words, honey that goes through these processes loses a significant part of its nutritional value. Therefore, when purchasing honey, it should be preferred in its most natural and pure form.
Best Unfiltered Honey That You Can Buy Online
- Gideon Spring ORGANIC Raw Honey – 100% Real Pure Bee honey Unfiltered UNHEATED, Natural for Tea (Jar 17.63 ounce) – Premium Exotic Flavor: Organic Wildflower Blossom
- Raw Honey 1 Gallon Jug – 12 Lbs. Unfiltered, Unpasteurized, Unblended, Bulk Honey, No Additives, Spreadable Creamy Honey
- New York Wildflower Honey, Local Bee Honey – 100% Pure Raw Unfiltered, Unheated, Un-blended Honey 16oz
- Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey KFactor 16+, Unpasteurized, Genuine New Zealand Honey, Multi-Functional, Non-GMO Superfood, 17.6 Ounce
- Elden Foods Raw Honey – Creamed and Unfiltered 100% Pure Honey, Large 80 oz (5 lbs), Organic Process, Real Honeybees and Honeycomb