Honey is probably the most ancient delicacy, and in all respects one of the most useful. It is used in cooking, medicine and cosmetology. Useful properties of honey are due to extremely high content of minerals and vitamins. But all this is true only for real raw honey.
The volume of honey production depends on many factors: how wintered bees, what was the weather, how abundant was blooming of the honey plants. To fulfill constant demand for raw honey some unscrupulous manufacturers make fake honey.
At best, fake honey is of no benefit to health, at worst - may be toxic.
By some estimates up to 30% of honey in stores is more or less fake.
How to determine without laboratory is your honey Good or Bad?
Let's take a few simple tests:
- Appearance and Taste
Pure liquid honey is usually transparent, no matter what color he has, and it has no sediments.
Look at the label. If the honey has been packed with more than 3 months ago and it is not crystallized - it is the cause for doubt. Only certain varieties of real honey do not crystallize.
If you have read on the label - pasteurized - it is one more cause for doubt. Real honey has antibacterial properties and does not require pasteurization.
Take into the mouth half teaspoon of honey. Do not swallow at once, hold the honey in your mouth for 20-30 seconds. With real honey you should feel a slight burning sensation in the mouth. Taste of honey should be easy and pleasant sweet, in any case it is not cloyingly sweet and sour.
- Check the honey to the touch
The real honey is easily pulverized between the fingers, and even absorbed into the skin like a cream. Fake product has not such delicate texture. It forms clumps.
- The real honey is viscous in consistency
Honey should not be liquid and flow as a syrup. The real honey is viscous in consistency. The fake honey is behaving like glue; it drips down forming a spray.
Dip the tip of the spoon into the honey and lift it up. Real honey is pulled after the spoon in a long continuous filament, and when this thread is interrupted, it is completely down and turn into a pile, which soon will spread over the surface of honey and becomes invisible. Fake honey is dripping from a spoon with a spray or flows too thick.
- Testing for water in the honey
There is not much water in real honey - not more than 20%. Fake honey with syrup has a high moisture content - you can check it the following way. Dip a piece of bread in honey, and after 8-10 minutes, remove it. In real honey bread hardens. If the bread is softening or even is falling apart, then in front of you is not nothing but a sugar syrup.
You can check for water in another way:
Drip honey on a piece of low-grade paper, which absorbs moisture. If it spreads over the paper, forming a wet spot, or even seeps through it - it's a fake honey.
- Looking for impurities
Dissolve a little honey in water. If there is precipitate in the glass, something has been added to the honey. If the solution turns blue by adding a drop of iodine, it means that the potato starch has been added to honey.
If a drop of vinegar causes foaming of solution, then there is chalk in the honey. Do not be surprised. Unscrupulous manufacturers sometimes use a chalk as a thickener for sugar syrup in the manufacturing of fake honey.
- Testing for sugar syrup in honey
Fake honey made on the base of sugar syrup can be dissolved in water much easier than real one. Try to add to the solution one or two drops of silver nitrate. The white precipitate would indicate that there is sugar syrup in the honey. You can get silver nitrate at the pharmacy, it was widely used as a disinfecting agent once.
- Looking for traces of starch syrup and other molasses
The admixture of starch syrup can be found by adding ethanol to the honey diluted with water. Shake the mixture. If there is molasses in the honey, the solution becomes milky white which transparent semi-liquid precipitate at the bottom. - dextrin. Of course, dextrin is a registered food additive E1400, but we want to buy natural honey, not the synthetic derivatives.
To check honey for presence of molasses you can do "test by fire". To do this, take a hot stainless steel wire and dip it into the honey. If you see sticky burnt remains on the end of wire - it is fake honey, if the wire remains pure - real honey.
Keep in mind
Do not heat the honey to a temperature higher than 140 °F. It will lose therapeutic properties. If you need liquid honey, put the jar with honey into warm water, don't put it on fire.