If you’ve had a jar or bottle of honey in your pantry for some time, you may notice it’s become completely solid or has hardened pieces in it. Because you know that everything spoils eventually, you may think honey crystallization indicates expiration. However, you should know that your honey is still perfectly good to eat, no matter how old it is or its current state. Follow along to learn what it means when your honey crystallizes.
It Contains Sugar
Honey consists of two main sugars—glucose and fructose—making it more likely to crystallize. Interestingly, raw honey is mostly sugar, which is prone to crystallization and condensing in most of its forms, especially glucose. Honey made from different flowers, like clover or alfalfa, may contain higher levels of glucose and crystallize quicker than other types of honey with less glucose.
Honey Has Low Water Content
When bees collect nectar from plants and flowers, that nectar contains approximately 80 percent water. However, bees bring this water content down to about 20 percent or less during the honey-making process. Because of the lower water content, honey doesn’t ferment or spoil, but it does make crystallization a more likely possibility.
Storage Temperature Matters
Even though honey doesn’t spoil, that doesn’t mean you can store it just anywhere. Ideally, you should put your honey jar in a dark, cool cabinet or pantry to maintain its quality. Many people think they should keep honey in the refrigerator or freezer, but that’s not the case. Cold storage temperatures can act as a catalyst for crystallization speeds, so you should avoid keeping your honey in the fridge or freezer.
Your Honey Is Real
Although you may think something is wrong when your honey crystallizes, it’s actually quite the opposite. Raw, natural honey is more likely to crystallize because it contains bits of pollen and other beneficial nutrients that can cause crystallization. Processed honey may stay in its liquid state forever, but it doesn’t contain many beneficial enzymes, bee products, and vitamins.
Now that you know what it means when your honey crystallizes, you may be more likely to buy raw honey or become a beekeeper. If you’re looking for honeybees for sale in Billerica, MA, visit The B Farm online for all things bee related. Beekeeping ensures delicious honey, and you could also boost the local bee population.