Why is honey sugary? Statement of scientific reason and brief critique of this issue


Ask any professional beekeeper, they will tell you that sugaring honey is actually a good thing; Why? Because it means that honey is real and full of healthy antioxidants and beneficial enzymes. In fact, this is one of the ways to identify natural honey. So do not throw away your packaged honey because it is not contaminated and is certainly not spoiled. The process of crystallization of honey is normal; And except for the texture, density and new color, it has little effect on the quality and properties of honey.

Honey Clay - Attar Khan

Definition

The process of formation and growth of crystals (crystalline and solid state) in honey is called sugaring or clay crystallization (honey). Sugar in honey is a natural process and is not a sign of fraud or corruption. Due to its physical properties, honey initially tends to natural crystallize because it is a supersaturated sugar solution.

Why is honey sugary?

Honey is a supersaturated combination of fructose and glucose. The amount of sugar in honey is more than what can naturally remain in solution. Thus, crystals naturally begin to form and crystallize over time.

Honey Rous- Attar Khan

The starting point of sugaring depends on several factors. The main reasons include the fructose / glucose ratio (F / G) and the glucose / water ratio (G / W). When glucose levels rise, they become insoluble in water and crystallization occurs.

Another common cause of crystallization is storage temperature, which significantly contributes to the formation of crystals. Ideally, honey should be stored at either high temperature to reduce the mobility of sugar molecules (above 25 ° C); Or in a cool place (less than 4 ° C) to ensure that the crystals liquefy and reduce the degree of glucose saturation. In this regard, we must pay attention to the proper storage conditions of honey.

An example of sugared honey - Attar Khan

Other external factors also affect the sugaring of honey. The type of packaging and its material affect the sugaring of honey in the long run. Plastic bottles enhance the crystallization process more than glass.

Claying honey can also depend on how the honey is processed. Raw honey that has not been tampered with can contain plant particles and components, pollen, yeast, sugar crystals and beeswax. While all of these are safe and edible, they can initiate the crystallization process.

Hardened honey - Attar Khan

Unfortunately, crystallization is not a good result; Because when honey crystallizes, its use is reduced compared to the liquid state and the product becomes cloudy. Although crystallized honey is perfectly healthy, it is more difficult to sell a jar of honey with a cloudy appearance. In addition, separating the contents of a package of honey into a crystalline and liquid phase reduces the microbial stability of honey due to the increase in moisture in the upper layer.

Concluding remarks

We must keep in mind when buying honey that in most cases, natural honey becomes sugary or clay over time. This is not a sign that it is counterfeit (of course, not every sugared honey is natural!). This is due to the combination of natural sugars in honey. Although this type of honey is not very popular with consumers, but it has no nutritional or health problems.

References:

https://www.intertek.com/blog/2021-04-20-honey-crystallization/