We all like to know about honey types and to choose natural honey among various honey jars on the shelf of the stores,
but how can we do so? can we distinguish between fake and natural honey based on the color,
aroma, or taste? The answer to this question is no. None of these characteristics determine the quality of honey. If you are also looking for a definite way to distinguish genuine honey from counterfeit,
we suggest that you read this article to the end.
How to identify the original and natural honey?
These days, there are many ways, such as burning honey or dissolving it in water, to determine if honey is genuine. But these methods are completely invalid and unscientific,
and none of them can distinguish the original honey from its counterfeit. If you are looking for a definite and certain way,
first it is better to get acquainted with the types of honey and its ingredients.
What are the ingredients of honey?
To answer this question, about 80% of honey is sucrose, glucose and fructose,
and the remaining 20% of honey is water and other substances. Sucrose is a carbohydrate in many of the natural and industrial foods we eat daily. Sucrose is the sugar we all know and consume. This substance provides the body with the energy it needs and is itself of two molecules of glucose and fructose. Also, after feeding the nectar of the flowers,
the bee processes the nectar to be turned into honey by enzymes such as diastase, which are present in the body. To become more familiar with the matter, let’s discuss the types of honey.
Types of honey
As a matter of fact, honey has three categories: natural honey, nutritional and counterfeit honey.
Natural honey is the result of the bees’ activities. The bees go out of the hive,
feed on the nectar of flowers and plants, and produce natural honey. The nectar that the bee feeds on contains up to 60% sucrose. On the way back to the hive, the bee converts some of this sucrose into glucose and fructose. For this reason, the percentage of natural honey sucrose is low.
Nutritional honey is also from bees,
but the difference is that bee food is no longer the nectar of flowers and plants. In the production of this honey, bee food is a solution of water and sugar by the beekeeper. Therefore, bees do not have the opportunity to activate and convert their dietary sucrose into glucose and fructose
because their diet is sugar or pure sucrose and the bee is near the hive
and has less time for enzymatic activity and conversion of sucrose to fructose and glucose. As a result, the nutritional honey is higher than that of natural honey. It also does not have some of the properties of natural honey due to the nutrition of plant nectar and pollen.
- The third category of honey is counterfeit honey.
This honey is not from bees at all. In other words, it is by mixing different ingredients such as sugar, water and food colors. So, first of all, the ratio of its constituents is not
similar to natural honey at all, and more importantly, its diastase is zero. Diastasis is enzymes that bees add when they are converting nectar to honey,
and artificially produced honey lacks it.
What is the absolute way to identify natural honey?
Now that you know what honey is made of, we must tell you that there is only one absolute
and valid way to identify natural honey and
you cannot understand the amount of sucrose or diastase of honey by tasting or smelling it. Testing honey in reputable honey laboratories is the only definitive way to determine its quality. The honey test determines the percentage of honey ingredients such
as sucrose and diastase, and thus it can be determined whether the honey is natural or nutritious.
What is the sucrose content of natural honey?
The percentage of sucrose in natural honey is below 5%. However, some plants are like an exception and have a higher percentage of sucrose. Natural honey can be special
and distinct from others based on color, taste and smell. In this article, we will refer to some famous types of honey and the properties of each. As mentioned above, the variety of honey varies according to the nectar that the bee has fed. Some beekeepers believe that there are two types of honey,
either natural or counterfeit, and it is not right to classify honey into different types. But the truth is that each honey has its characteristics and benefits.
Honey has generally two categories: multi-flowered and single-flowered. Honey for which bees have used a wide variety of plants
and nectar is not predominant, honey’s name is after a few plants,
and if one type of flower and plant in the region is more than other types, the name of the flower and plant will be on the honey. Of course, in this type of naming, nectar is predominant,
such as citrus honey, which is from citrus orchards, or alfalfa honey, which is from alfalfa fields. Because bees cannot use only one type of flower and plant. In the following, we will deal with the types of single flower honey that are the most popular in the middle east.
Types of honey-based on production time
A) Spring honey
Such as citrus honey and acacia honey and fruit trees that beekeepers collect in early spring.
B) Autumn honey
It is from mid-summer to early autumn.
Types of honey-based on color
- Colorless honey such as cotton honey
- Yellow honey such as Astragalus
- Red honey such as Thyme honey