Honey - a valuable element in the diet. Unfortunately, there have been many fakes lately, and buying a natural high-quality product is not so easy. To avoid fraud, you must learn to recognize the varieties of honey on the external characteristics and taste, as well as do tests for its naturalness at home.
How to check the quality of honey?
Product verification for authenticity takes place in several stages:
- Testing for taste and flavor. Everyone knows the smell of honey. In a natural product, it should be natural, not too harsh and intrusive, but at the same time quite pronounced. Existence of foreign aromas is excluded. An artificial honey smell may be weak due to the fact that it is diluted with some kind of impurities or, conversely, too strong because it added synthetic flavors.
- The taste of honey is sweet and pleasant with a little tartness. The natural product immediately melts in the mouth, some varieties cause a slight burning sensation in the tongue, tingling and create a feeling of warmth. If you find a caramel flavor in honey, then it was warmed up. Perhaps it was collected last year and candied, it was warmed up to make it liquid and to sell as a new collection. Such honey has already lost its beneficial properties. Heating of the product should not be subjected to, because the temperature destroys valuable components and nutrients.
- Natural honey may differ in taste and texture depending on the period it was harvested. Lime can have small grains, from clover will remain plastic for a long time.
- Evaluation of consistency, transparency and color. Natural honey is never cloudy. If it is dissolved in water or tea, there will be no sediment, and the drink itself may darken slightly. The consistency of the product is delicate, thickening is possible with time. Even thick honey is completely dissolved, and when rubbed into the skin does not leave lumps. Sometimes it may contain a small amount of wax, it is also normal. The wax has an elastic structure and becomes soft when heated. For accurate consistency check, it is recommended to check the honey with a wooden stick. Dip it in a container with the product and lift, the natural will flow in a thin even trickle, and when separated from the stick, it forms a small hill on the surface, which will subsequently dissolve in the total mass. Fake honey will drain quickly, in a large flow, even splashes may appear. A quality product should be thick and even with time not to stratify and not to ferment. The weight of 1 l of honey should be at least 1.5 kg.
Features of color and consistency of common varieties of honey
The most common types of product, depending on the time of collection of nectar bees:
- Meadow - different herbs
If you bought liquid honey of the correct consistency, over time it can thicken and evaporate. This is a completely natural process. Around October, honey becomes thicker and small crystals of sugar can form in it. Color over time can also become another. Fresh product also has a different color, depending on the type of nectar that bees collected. The brightest is honey from acacia flowers. Fresh and newly harvested may have a subtle yellow shade, when it begins to sugary it may become completely white. Meadow honey is slightly darker than acacia and its color can be in the range between light yellow and brownish. The product of nectar of lime flowers is usually amber, but it can be dark yellow and even with shades of green. Honey from the flowers of clover has a bright and deep amber hue, the saturation of the color indicates its quality. The product from the flowers of buckwheat should be very dark, sometimes it is even slightly reddish.
Honey, which for a long time does not thicken, most likely, is of poor quality, usually this happens when the beekeeper pumps him out too early. Vitamins and beneficial components in this product a little. It is not recommended to keep it for a long time, because it quickly loses its value, and its taste qualities also deteriorate over time.
Test for the presence of sugar in honey using paper. At home, such a study is very simple. Take a gray paper of low quality, you can even use toilet folded in 2 layers. Put 2-3 drops of the product on the paper. Quality honey will not spread and soak the paper. If it spreads and quickly leaks through the paper, it means that sugar syrup is added to it, which also lowers the concentration of useful components.
It is possible to establish the presence of sugar syrup at home with the help of ordinary bread. Dip a small piece of wheat flour bread into honey, hold it for a few minutes, and then remove and evaluate. If the product is quality without impurities, the bread will become hard.
Honey, in which a lot of ordinary table sugar gives out itself and externally. Of course, this is possible only in cases where there is a lot of sugar in it. Such a product will be whitish when thickened. This happens when the bees are fed sugar syrup. This honey will be natural, but there is little benefit from it.
We testmed at home with hot wire
This test will help determine if there are any impurities in the product or not. You will need stainless steel wire, which will need to be heated well, then immersed in honey and immediately removed. If the product is high quality without impurities the wire will be clean. When it remains sticky traces or inclusions, it can be concluded that it is a fake. Very poor-quality honey when added to milk causes its folding. And when heated on an open fire is not charred, and ignites.
Determine the quality of bee product by iodine and vinegar
The most unexpected impurities in honey can be starch and chalk. This is done by unscrupulous sellers, who thus want to increase the mass of the product. Many buyers do not know about this method of forgery, but it has been used for a very long time. To determine if there is chalk in honey, dissolve a small portion in distilled water and add 2-3 drops of acetic essence there. If there is chalk, the solution will begin to sizzle and foam will form on the surface.
The starch in the product will produce iodine. Honey must also be dissolved in distilled water, but instead of the essence, add a couple of drops of pharmacy iodine. When the solution becomes blue, it can be concluded that there is starch in the honey. The intensity of the blue color indicates its quantity in the product.
In addition to impurities in honey may be harmful and hazardous to humans substances that got there in a natural way. For example, sick bees can infect it. If the swarm collected nectar from poisonous plants for people, then poisoning is also quite likely. Research on such substances can be carried out only in a specialized laboratory. Fortunately, such cases are quite rare. To avoid unpleasant situations, buy honey from the 1st beekeeper. It is undesirable to purchase pre-packaged product in stores, because there is a high probability of counterfeiting.
The value of honey is beyond doubt, but it can be useless and even dangerous if you buy a low-quality product. To check the naturalness of honey at home, it is sufficient to know the taste and quality characteristics of the variety. Also, various tests using chalk, honey, heating can also be a criterion for evaluating a product.