Natural HoneyHoney is highly sensitive to heat and therefore it should be stored in a wide container and put in a cupboard. The storage of honey in the fridge is not a practical thing to do because the honey freezes and becomes very hard. If honey is stored for a long period of time, it crystallizes itself.
Immediately after taken from the hive, the honey is always clear and liquid. This is due to its high fructose content. Some types of honey have higher fructose content then others, and for these reason they preserve their liquid state for a longer period of time (for example: acacia honey is always liquid). If the glucoses content is higher than the fructose one, then the honey crystallizes at temperatures below 180C.
The crystallization of honey is a natural process, which certifies the authenticity of the product. ATTENTION: acacia honey does not crystallize, if it is pure and does not have any chemical additives. It is important to know that crystallized honey has the exact same characteristics and properties like the liquid one. However, many people show a preference for crystallized honey, because it is easier to put it on bread. If your honey crystallizes, you have to emerge it into a recipient filled with warm water and keep it there until the crystals dissolve, however pay attention not to boil or overheat the honey, because it will lose its properties.
How to make the difference between natural genuine honey and fake honey?
Unfortunately there are many methods to alter natural honey. Besides feeding bee families with molasses, the most dishonest method consists in boiling sugar in plant infusion, until the whole mixture receives the consistency and aspect of honey. Another method consists in heavily feeding the bees with sugar syrup. Thus, the attractive honey jars that you may find in the market place can be either genuine or fake honey. The honey buyer should know at least the following things :
1. fake honey does not crystallize, while all genuine honey does (except acacia honey!!!)
2. sometimes the buyer who wants acacia honey is sold fennel or raspberry honey; the difference is difficult to made, because these honey varieties have a very similar color
3. sunflower honey is often sold as polyfloral honey, which is considered the most valuable from a therapeutic point of view
If you decide to buy crystallized honey, so as to be sure that the honey you buy is a genuine one, and if you want to eat in a liquid state or use it as a food sweetener, Mr. Andritoiu recommends liquefying honey at temperatures lower than 45oC. You must bear in mind that honey is produced within the hive at temperatures that do not exceed 35-37oC. Honey is not a thermo stable product and high temperatures destroy many of its vital substances. When the liquefying temperature exceeds 90oC, the honey is reduced to a mere liquid sugar.
Everybody knows that in markets the honey you find is a liquid one. This, says Mr. Andritoiu, is either fake or very well boiled. Unfortunately many buyers are convinced that crystallized honey is counterfeited. Actually the situation is totally opposite. The beekeeper knows that most people do not know that crystallized honey is in fact pure honey and that buyers expect to buy liquid honey, so he boils it at 90oC to keep it in a liquid state. Unfortunately it loses all its therapeutic function and becomes only a sweetener like sugar.
Even if the honey is pure, it can suffer a process of degradation when it is exposed to sunlight, as it happens in markets. Honey is produced within the dark environment of the hive. If the hive had a glass wall, the bees would cover it immediately with propolis, because they know that the sunlight damages their precious food. Thus, it is better to sell honey in opaque recipients.
We can conclude that the honey that has therapeutic properties cannot be bought in markets or stores, but directly from the beekeeper. It is better to buy honey from stationary apiaries that are away from any source of pollution. This kind of honey has a higher quality because it is well matured through aeration and thus it has an enzyme plus when compared to the one bought from traveling apiaries. Many times, the beekeepers are eager to arrive at the place where the melliferous plants are and they do not wait for the bees to mature and cap the honey. They extract a honey that is too liquid and which is dried in board barrels exposed to the sunlight. By eliminating the water surplus, this honey can reach the consistency of the one that is naturally dried. This honey no longer has the normal quantity of active principles and the sugar is only partially transformed in monosaccharaides that can be directly assimilated.
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