It is very difficult to check whether honey is real by using home methods. You can’t find it out either by tasting it or checking its color due to the wide palette of honey hues and flavors determined by the origin of nectar collected by bees.
Natural honey – features
Honey in its liquid form, i. e. strained, will form a convex meniscus on the surface while poured with a spoon. Real honey should also crystallize after some time, but that depends on the type. It can be assumed that if the date of bottling on the label says e. g. July, then each honey from this period (excluding acacia honey) should crystallize until September-October. Therefore, if after 3 months of bottling honey is in a liquid form, you shouldn’t put it into your shopping cart. If you want to buy honey to be used as a medicine, then start by reading the label.
Honey types and colors
Honey called “liquid gold” is easy to fake. Being able to check honey can be very useful when buying it from an uncertain source. There are various honey colors, conditioned mainly by the plant from which it comes.
There is light honey (e. g. almost colorless or golden straw liquid linden honey, white or pinkish raspberry, slightly yellowish acacia) and dark honey (e. g. dark brown buckwheat honey). Honey of one variety shouldn’t have different hues (except heather honey), white spots or Marble structure. This does not apply to blended products (i. e. mixtures of different types).
Honey shouldn’t contain any visible mechanical admixtures, both in the layer and on the surface, or sediment and bubbles. The occurrence of white coating on the surface of honey and the jar walls indicates a high glucose content, not sugar or starch additives. After assessing what honey looks like, you can inhale its aroma while stirring it with a spatula.
You should be able to smell it (you can warm the honey in a water bath a little for this), even if it’s very subtle.
When purchasing fresh liquid honey, we need to check whether it’s ripe
Unripe honey – taken from Unsealed honeycombs – has an undeveloped taste, poor aroma and is highly watery. The water content of honey shouldn’t exceed 20% (except for heather honey). A sign of honey’s ripeness is its density at a temperature of about 68 °F.
Such honey is almost attached to the spoon, trails lazily, flows down, forms a long-lasting hillock on the surface, and a quick rotation of the spoon around its axis winds it on without dripping. However, due to the link between consistency, temperature, humidity, etc. it’s more reliable to check the weight density: a one-liter jar should hold no less than 1. 4 kg of honey.
Crystallization of natural honey
If you make a purchase in late autumn or winter, then the Crystallization is an indicator of the honey purity. With cold weather, good quality honey always turns into a homogeneous mass. Beekeepers begin extracting honey in spring, often starting with rapeseed. This honey crystallizes almost before your eyes. It’s different with acacia honey. It usually crystallizes after a few months. Almost every type of honey (with a few exceptions, e. g. white acacia honey) should be in a crystallized state by the end of the year at the latest. Therefore, if after this time honey has a Liquid consistency, it’s either fake (then it may not crystallize even after being stored in the fridge for some time), or has either been filtered in the bulk breaking process or overheated.
However, honey kept from the beginning in an airtight container may not crystallize either. It sometimes happens that syrup-like liquid can be found in crystallized honey, indicating a High content of fruit sugar, which crystallizes poorly. If honey is crystallized at the bottom and syrup-like at the top, this may indicate it’s unripe.