Many of us often wonder what those crystals in a honey jar are. Some of us think the honey is of poor quality, has gone off or is contaminated. Since it looks quite unattractive and unfavorable, it gets thrown away thinking it is spoiled. What if we tell you you’re wrong? Let us answer some of the most common questions in a very scientific yet simplest way.
What is Crystallized Honey? Is it good or bad?
Crystallization in honey is a natural process. Honey has a tendency to crystallize over time with no effect on the honey other than changing external features like texture and color to an extent. So you can decrystallize your honey and consume it without thinking twice.
Why does honey crystallize?
The two parameters that influence the crystallization in honey are -
Honey is made of natural sugars. It typically contains at least 75% sugar and 25% water. So honey naturally has more sugar in water than it can fully dissolve. The overabundance of sugar in honey makes it unstable to an extent.
The two types of sugar found in honey are glucose and fructose. Glucose has less ability to dissolve than fructose. Glucose separates out from the water and remains as crystals in honey. The crystallized honey has a paler/ lighter color than when in liquid state.
How long does it take for honey to crystallize?
Different types of honey crystallize at different rates. In some, crystallization begins straight after harvest (process of extracting honey from the hive), within 1-2 months, and some take longer like 2 years after harvest. The faster the honey crystallizes, the smaller and finer the crystals will be. If the crystallization occurs over a longer period of time, they’re more likely to be larger and grittier. Clover honey crystallizes faster than Manuka Honey as it has higher glucose to fructose ratio.
What is the best way to store honey?
The other significant parameter to have effect on crystallized honey is the storage temperature. Storing honey below 10C delays crystallization and so does storing at 21C-27C which is optimum temperature. Anything in between 11C-20C favors the process of crystallization. Therefore, storing honey in a refrigerator accelerates the crystallization process.
How to fix crystallized honey or how can you decrystallize honey?
Hack #1: If you put the jar of crystallized Manuka honey in warm water and stir, it will decrystallize the honey. The honey will become liquid again.
Hack #2: Don’t microwave as the rapid heat will damage the micronutrients in Manuka Honey.
So bid goodbye to all myths you’ve heard about crystallized honey. They are still good, still yummy and still effective to your body and mind.
Did you know Zealandia Honey creams its honey batches, ensuring that the sugar crystals are evenly spread out to enhance the tasting experience of Manuka Honey? Try out your preferred jar from our exclusive range of Manuka Honey and share your experience with us.