Honey is a versatile sweet and a popular magical potent. It needs no introduction, for everyone grows up hearing about its magical properties. Honey is filled with natural enzymes, yeasts, vitamins, minerals, sugars, amino acids, water, and various substances that are essential to sustain life.
The medicinal properties of honey can heal burns, prevent infections, and enhance the healing of wounds and ulcers.
Honey effectively treats both oral and genital herpes. It also regulates blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Along with the above, its antioxidant properties not only help in preventing cancer but also makes it a perfect home remedy for hemorrhoids. It boosts fertility in both men and women.
It also acts as an aid to various skin and hair problems. Honey has many great benefits which make it unique from the rest of the other natural aid substances.
Evolution has broadened access to honey. Sadly, the markets these days are contaminated with fake products of almost everything. Companies consider the production of honey as a great source of income because of the increasing demand and consumption.
Nearly 76% of the brands that sell honey are adulterated. Adulterated honey is manufactured with glucose, molasses, sugar syrup, corn syrup, starch, and other impurities. But detecting these impurities is genuinely an easy task, and there are humungous ways to do so.
How to Tell Honey Is Real or Adulterated?
Honey is an utmost essential ingredient in any diet. If you are looking for the medicinal properties or the benefits associated with honey, you should go with the quality. Never let the “organic” tag on the brands fool you. Distinguishing pure honey from adulterated honey is truly easy, but you will have to do some tests for that.
How to Identify the Purity of Honey Instantly?
Examining physical qualities is one of the easiest ways to identify the purity of honey. Here are some differences in the physical properties that will help you recognize if the honey is pure or adulterated.
- Aroma: the aroma of pure honey has the essence of individual flowers and wild grasses, but adulterated honey gives a sour industrial odor.
- Taste: adulterated honey gives a rich sugary or sweet flavor that remains. The taste of pure honey disappears very soon. Heating or cooling of pure honey might kill the nutritional quotient that helps in healing.
- Stickiness: the additives and excessive sugar content make adulterated honey sticky. Pure honey tends to be non-sticky even when you rub it between your fingers.
- Dissolving capacity: Pure honey forms lump at the bottom of the water. It initially takes time to dissolve even when you stir well. Pure honey settles down evenly, but the additives of adulterated honey dissolve very quickly.
- Thickness: the movement of pure honey inside a jar is prolonged due to the width of the liquid. Adulterated honey has less density.
- The effects on heating: Additives like sugar and water in adulterated honey forms a layer of foam. This upon heating forms bubbles.
Different Types of Tests to Examine the Quality of Honey
Before carrying out any tests, a straightforward method to examine the difference is to check the label on the product.
It is mandatory for manufacturers to mention any additives used in the process of production. The huge verity of honey acts as a disadvantage while examining as the characteristics vary with Verity. Thus, it is ideal to try more than one test while discussing the differences.
1. Procedure to Carry out Thumb Test
- Pour a small droplet of honey on your thumb.
- Observe if the honey spreads or starts leaking.
- If that is the case, then the honey is not pure.
- Pure honey is denser and remains intact with your thumb.
2. Procedure to Carry out the Flame Test
- Dip the tip of a dry match stick into the honey.
- Try lighting the match stick from the matchbox.
- If the match stick lights up, then the honey is pure.
- The combustible nature of the honey burns it off in flame.
- The moisture content in the adulterated honey will not light the match stick.
3. Procedure to Carry out Absorption Test
- Drop a few drops of honey on a blotting paper or a white piece of cloth.
- Pure honey will not get absorbed in the blotting paper or leave any stains on the fabric.
- Adulterated honey will get consumed in the blotting paper and leave stains on the white piece of cloth.
4. Procedure for Bread Test
- Take a slice of bread.
- Spread the honey over the bread.
- Pure honey will solidify the bread in a few minutes.
- The moisture content in the adulterated honey turns the bread wet and makes it soft.
5. Procedure for Egg Yolk Test
- Add egg yolk in a container.
- Pour some honey and stir well.
- The yolk begins to look like its cooked in case its real honey.
- Adulterated honey will not show any results.
6. Procedure to Check Impurities
- Put some honey into a clear container.
- Observe to check for pollutants such as dirt-looking particles, bee body parts, or pollen.
- Adulterated honey is free from any impurities.
7. Procedure for Vinegar Test
- Take a glass of water and add 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar
- Add some amount of honey and stir well.
- In case the mixture results in the formation of foam, then it’s undoubtedly an adulterated product.
Methods of Detecting Indirect Adulteration
This method has been gaining popularity in recent days. In this method, the honey is subjected to pollen DNA analysis. There are only a few methods of extracting pollen DNA from honey, which makes this process time-consuming.
Detection of Adulteration by Overheating
Hydroxymethylfurfural is an endogenous substance which is highly reactive. This compound can reduce the nutritional properties in the honey. It helps detect the difference by determining the quality of honey.
Everyone loves having their morning tea with honey! Honey is more than just an alternative for sugar. It is a natural sweet mixture prepared from the nectar of various flowers. Unfortunately, the increase in environmental pollution and diseases have led to a decrease in the population of honey bees globally.
However, consumption and demand for honey have grown extensively in the last few years, resulting in adulteration of honey. Advertisements and false labeling often fool consumers. Quick tip! A smart way to buy honey would be to purchase it from a beekeeper.