Crystallised Honey - Is it OK to eat?
Your honey is crystallising. It's become grainy and starting to solidify. Time to throw it out right? Wrong!
Honey is one of the only food products that has a near unlimited shelf life. Crystallisation or candying of honey is a completely natural process and nothing to be feared. Lets take a closer look.
Honey is more than 70% natural sugar and less than 20% water content. You don't need to be Einstein to realise that it's unlikely for all that sugar to stay in solution without some sort of intervention.
Many of the larger honey brands, the ones that you generally find in the supermarket, heat their honey as part of their processing and packaging. This makes the honey thinner allowing it to flow through their pipes and pumps more quickly. It helps them to package a large amount of honey in a short amount of time. And, there's another reason they heat treat it too- It slows down the crystallisation process, keeping their honey runny for longer whilst on supermarket shelves.
The big players also pass their honey through very fine filters to remove tiny particles of pollen, beeswax and propolis. These small natural particles act as nuclei for sugar in the honey to form crystals around. But there's a catch.
You see, honey has amazing health benefits. It can prevent colds and flu, it helps with hay fever and has amazing anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Heating honey kills the important enzymes that provide these benefits and filtering out all pollen means that you're on your own with your hay fever.
Raw honey is the only honey that provides these health benefits. It's delicious and natural and yes, it will eventually crystallise. Crystallisation is totally normal and crystallised honey is perfectly safe to eat.
If you must have runny honey here are some tips:
- Try and store your honey at a constant temperature in the range of 21C-26C (70F-80F)
- When your honey crystallises, it can be bought back to its liquid state by placing the jar in or over warm water just until the honey liquifies. Don't use hot water or the microwave, the honey will get too hot.
- Our favourite method: Eat it before it crystallises!
Learn to embrace granulated or crystallised honey for what it is. A raw, natural, delicious product full of health benefits.
Our recent article "More than sweetener - Honey's amazing health benefits" describes the health benefits of honey in more detail. The only way to know you're buying real, raw honey is buy purchasing directly from a local beekeeper. We have our raw honey available for purchase online here, and at our upcoming markets.
You can also find a local beekeeper on Bee the Cure's Honey Map here.