“What’s the matter with my honey?!?”
It’s that time of year when we get a lot of questions about crystallized honey.
Did it spoil? Why does it crystallize? What do I do?
Let’s talk about it!
Why does honey crystallize?
Before, we begin, don’t worry! Crystallization means that you have pure natural honey.
Let’s start with the composition of honey. Honey contains about 70% carbohydrates and less than 20% water.
It also contains over 300 оthеr ѕubѕtаnсеѕ, lіkе аmіnо асіdѕ, рrоtеіnѕ, mіnеrаlѕ, and асіdѕ!
The majority of honey is carbohydrates, or sugar. The two predominant sugars in honey are gluсоѕе аnd fruсtоѕе.
Fructose will remain dissolved and does not crystallize. This makes it a great sugar structure to work with. It is also why, if you have honey that never crystallizes than you will have a primarily fructose-based sugar.
Raw, unfiltered, unheated honey that we sell has all the stuff that makes honey so good for you-such as pollen and wax-and those expedite the crystallization process.
Oftentimes, in commercial honey they will fully filter out the pollen and wax, and even heat the honey to make it easier to process. This honey isn’t going to benefit your health but it will stay in liquid form for a very long time.
Our honey is more of a glucose sugar, and compared to fructose, turns to a solid more rapidly. Glucose separates itself from the water in honey and forms crystals.
That means, if your honey does crystallize that you do have natural, raw honey.
There are a few things that you can do to prevent raw honey from crystallizing as fast. This doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen, but it will happen less fast.
This chart from Honeypedia explains that if you keep honey below 10 degree Celcius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your honey is less likely to crystallize (as fast). However, you do not want to freeze honey. Freezing honey will have the same affect as keeping it a higher temperature and will spoil the honey.
What to do about crystallized honey?
If you have crystallized honey, remember that there are so many rich components for your health in raw honey. If you heat it in the microwave, it will kill these.
If you do have time and want to keep the nutritional value of your honey, then heating it slowly in a jar in a water bath in a pan over the stove is the best way to go. If you have a thermometer you want to keep it to below 110 degrees, as anything over that will cause it to start losing its nutritional properties.
Honey is so remarkable in it’s benefits for our health. We hope that the next time you see your honey turning to crystals you will cheer in confirmation that you have chosen a quality honey!