Honey is a magical product with excellent taste, great benefits for the body, and even with an unlimited shelf life, of course, in the case of its high quality.
How to choose a good, high-quality honey?
We decided to find out all the subtleties of the choice from a professional beekeeper who knows everything about honey — the creator of the family brand "Honey from Koval", Peter Koval.
COSTLESS: There is an opinion that in the store you can often find not real or low quality honey, is that so?
PETER: It is very unlikely to meet artificial honey on supermarket shelves. And the reason is not so much in the good faith of the sales departments, but in the small expediency of the fake process itself.
The fact is that creating a fake is a complex technology that requires special equipment. In addition, the process of selling honey is quite lengthy and specific. Therefore, the game's not worth playing.
In addition, the main filter from a fake and low-quality product are the honey producers themselves. We are interested in providing a quality product and preserving sales outlets. A low-quality batch is a big risk and loss.
In general, honey is not a highly profitable product. Historically, this product was either a delicacy or a healing component. And the cost was high enough, which significantly influenced demand.
С.: How to determine the quality of honey or see a fake?
P.: The main proof of the quality of honey is a combination of color, taste and smell. But there are some peculiarities, for example, honey of different herbs can differ in brightness of taste and smell, depending on the area of production.
They often speculate on pre-packaged honey, adding cheaper ones to expensive varieties. It is not dangerous to consumption, but we advise you to always read the composition of the product in order to accurately understand what you are buying.
С.: Is crystallization of honey good or bad?
P.: When choosing honey, it is important to pay attention to its appearance — the product must be homogeneous. Often in the supermarket you can find the product simultaneously with the liquid and crystallized fraction. This does not say that honey is bad, but it was heated to achieve a liquid state or even pasteurization.
The packer thus facilitates the packaging process and insures against the process of honey fermentation. Honey is heated to 45°C for a long time, which leads to a decrease in enzyme activity. A small amount of water can also be added to melted honey so that the product stays liquid longer. Such honey can be recognized by its suspiciously liquid consistency.
This is done in order to maintain the attractiveness of the product and can not be called direct falsification. But artificial moisture degrades the quality of honey. Therefore, it is better to buy a homogeneous crystallized honey.
Exceptions are acacia and phacelium honey, which do not crystallize for a long time.
С.: How to protect yourself from buying a fake?
P.: Fakes are rare, but have many disguises. It happens that the jar is filled with thick syrup with citric acid or a decoction of flowers, and natural honey is placed on top.
Such honey is almost always imposed on the buyer, offer a seductive price. The best option to protect yourself from fakes is to buy honey, which is not in doubt, from a trusted beekeeper or a reputable brand.
C.: What determines the quality of honey?
P.: If we are not talking about comparing honey varieties, but about the quality of the product as a whole, then the beekeeper plays the main role.
A beekeeper is not just a person who pumps out honey. It depends on him tо observance all the necessary conditions for obtaining a quality product, namely: what type of hives and frames are used, how mature honey is pumped out and what quality of honeycombs, what type of honey extractor and packaging quality, at what humidity the product is stored.
In addition, packaging, storage containers are important, and how much time during the sale, direct sunlight hit the product.
Bees, if not sick, make high-quality honey. Everything else is a human factor.
C.: And what mistakes does the beekeeper make?
P.: The most common mistake is pumping out not quite mature honey. This honey may not will be ferment, but will not have the depth of aroma and taste (the bees have not yet managed to enrich it with enzymes as much as possible).
The pumping of honey in a closed honey extractor also affects aroma. Very few beekeepers take this into account.
A commonplace mistake is the inconvenience of honey to the consumer. For example, after the kindling of honey, it can crystallize again in too coarse crystals, be half liquid or crystallize in a jar to a solid state, which greatly complicates its consumption.
C.: Can honey ferment?
P.: Yes, this is honey, in which wild yeast was activated due to excessive moisture. Such honey is poor in aroma, has a sour taste and smell, as well as noticeable bubbles.
To check the maturity of the honey that you currently have at home, you should take honey in a spoon. If the honey is mature, then it will begin to drain into a jar with a heavy stream and form a “turret”. If the honey is immature or diluted, then it will flow abundantly into the jar with an intermittent stream or drops, and the surface in the jar will quickly level out after the drops fall.
We wish you quality products and good shopping with COSTLESS.