Honey is known for its health benefits, full of nutrients, antioxidants and helping assist the body with many important processes. However, fake honey is something which is found often, meaning it is important to understand the differences before you buy.
To enjoy the benefits derived from honey, it is important to know the purity. Without this knowledge, you can buy poor quality products, with many supermarkets selling fake and impure honey, very different to what the bees produce. Many companies have taken advantage of the rising popularity of honey, selling fake honey which does not carry the same benefits, making it more important than ever before to know the differences.
What is real honey?
This is pure honey which should come directly from bees, rather than from a factory. Often called ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ honey in shops, pure honey is made by the bees, with organic honey being created by the bees fed by organically grown flowers.
What is ‘fake’ honey?
Fake honey is altered, however is almost impossible to tell from real honey when packaged. There are many ways to spot fake honey, making sure you only use real, pure honey which is best for you. Here are 13 things to look out for when determining whether honey is fake or not:
Real honey is not sticky if it is rubbed between your fingers, however fake honey is sticky due to the sweeteners added in its creation. This difference is easy to test and very noticeable.
Real honey is quite thick in texture, taking time to move, whereas fake honey is very runny and quickly spills, moves and travels. The best way to test this is to see how long it takes to travel from one side of a honey jar to the other, or to put some on your finger and see if it runs straight off.
Real honey has a mild and often floral scent. This smell can change with heating and cooling, however fake honey often has no smell at all, or can have a sour scent. Knowing the difference can take a little practice, unless you have both real and fake honey to compare against in the test.
When heated, real honey will quickly become thicker, not creating any foam. Fake honey, however, will produce bubbles and will never caramelize. These noticeable differences quickly help to separate fake honey from real honey.
- The bread test
Spread honey on a slice of bread. Real honey will harden within around 60 seconds. Fake honey will never harden, making the bread moist instead due to added moisture. This is another simple test to determine whether the honey you are using is pure.
Real honey doesn’t dissolve in water, instead settling at the bottom of the water in a lump. If stirred, real honey can dilute over a long time. Fake honey dissolves instantly in water, making it quickly noticeable that it is not pure.
- Matchstick test
Dip a matchstick in the honey. If the honey is real, if will easily light after being immersed, however fake honey will stop the match lighting because of the moisture levels.
Real honey will often include small impurities, with bits of pollen or discoloured particles included. Fake honey will have no impurities, being completely clear and a consistent, smooth texture.
- Methylated spirits
You can test whether honey is real or fake by combining it with methylated spirits. When mixing real honey with methylated spirits, the honey will still settle at the bottom of any container. Fake honey will not do this, instead dissolving in the methylated spirit and making the solution appear milky.
The taste of real, pure honey only remains for a couple of minutes. Fake honey will have a taste which remains for a longer period of time as the sugar keeps the taste continuing in the mouth.
Real honey does not stain. For example, if drops are put on blotting paper, they will remain on top and will not be absorbed. If poured onto white cloth material, real honey will also not stain. Fake honey, however, is absorbed into blotting paper, also staining if it is dropped onto white cloth.
- Egg yolk test
If you pour real honey into a container with the yolk of an egg, the yolk will look like it is cooked when you stir the mixture together. With fake honey, there will be no change to the yolk when this process is carried out, remaining the same.
If you are purchasing from a store where there are labels on the jar, this is the easiest way to understand the purity of honey. Manufacturers are required to mention any additives or additional substances which are added into the honey they produce. Take a look at the label on the honey container, if there is one, and you can quickly see if anything has been added to the pure honey, and if it has, what it is.
These 13 methods of testing your honey will quickly help you to know whether it is real or fake. You can even do combinations of all these methods to make sure you are noticing the signs of impurities.
The healing and health benefits of honey are best when in pure form, made from the bee and not altered in any way or through any manufacturing process. By carrying out any of these 13 steps, you can ensure you make the most of what honey can offer you.
So what are you waiting for? Test your honey and use the real, pure product which has been used in medicine for more than 5,000 years. It is known to assist wound-healing, cure digestion issues and create an antibacterial action. These benefits are given through real honey, whether it is taken on its own or even as an ingredient in a meal.