Should natural honey be candied? Someone says no. The beekeepers themselves claim that, regardless of the variety, it crystallizes. Let’s try to dispel myths about the process of “sugar”.
Why honey is candied
So why is this or that honey candied? Over time, no matter what variety and storage conditions, it begins to crystallize. In some cases it is faster, in others it is slower. So, for example, a substance from sunflower begins to sugar quickly, and from acacia – slowly. Why is this happening?
The composition of honey contains:
- 80% sucrose;
- 18% water;
That is, it is a supersaturated solution that produces a precipitate over time. The crystallization process begins with glucose, which is a less soluble carbohydrate.
Grape sugar also precipitates – you can see it at the bottom of the container. Then crystallization occurs gradually. The more glucose, the faster the hardening occurs, regardless of the storage conditions.
Careless beekeepers can dilute with sugar. Naturally, in this case, the product will be sugar-coated quickly. But not everyone does this.
Storage conditions also matter. If you pour one variety into jars and put them in the cellar and on the table in the kitchen, you will see that in the cellar it begins to sugar. At room temperature, honey remains liquid. Why is this happening? If the environment is colder, crystallization begins.
Influence of the variety
Honey contains 2 simple sugars. We are talking about fructose, glucose. The more the latter, the faster the honey begins to settle.
The ratio of fructose to glucose depends on the variety, as well as on what conditions were observed at the time of harvest.
Natural honey is divided into:
- honeydew (from the sweet liquid secreted by insects and dew protruding on the leaves and needles of trees due to a sharp change in temperature);
- a natural blend of floral and padevogo.
Some types of beekeeping product, after pumping, become grainy faster than others, regardless of storage:
- sunflower, containing 48% glucose, after 2 weeks of storage;
- rapeseed – in a month;
- buckwheat – after 1-2 months of storage;
- linden and sweet clover – after 3 months.
- lavender, chestnut, acacia – remain liquid until March.
Slowly crystallized varieties with acacia, cherry, sage. Ripe natural product is evenly sugared. In contrast to immature: it thickens at the bottom, and the top remains liquid, even if the storage was correct.
The crystallization process is mainly influenced by the composition, the ratio of the amount of carbohydrates and water. Fructose inhibits sugaring, while glucose does the opposite. This is why different species thicken in different ways.
Influence of storage conditions
The setting speed depends on the temperature. It occurs most rapidly at a temperature of 8-14 degrees. If you keep the treat in the room, the sugar drop rate will be slow.
Lovers of a liquid product should not send it to the refrigerator for storage. Another important point! The faster the cage is carried out, the smaller the structure of the caked substance becomes. It begins to resemble regular butter in consistency.
Should honey be candied
Honey is the result of processing nectar or honeydew by bees. Immediately after pumping, it is a liquid, viscous mass that flows down from the spoon for a long time and smoothly. However, over time, sediment appears at the bottom of the jar with a transparent treat. Why is this happening? The sugaring process begins. Beekeepers use the term “cage”. A natural beekeeping product is always sugar-coated.
Reasons Why Sugaring Does Not Occur
It doesn’t matter what grade you have, as long as it’s not candied, there are a number of reasons for that. Could it be that this is not a natural substance? Real healthy honey crystallizes sooner or later. It’s just that some varieties do it earlier, while others do it later. If the process has not gone, you have a substandard or artificial product.
Why honey varieties remain liquid
Once again, we will repeat – all species begin to be candied. They are useful and include sucrose, fructose, water, glucose, and the like. That is, about 80% of them are carbohydrates, which is why this happens. If honey is natural, the accumulation comes from nectar. And his body includes pollen particles. This view is very useful.
The glucose element is very important. It depends on him how soon the honey hardens. Crystallization occurs precisely due to glucose, and if it is not observed, there are a number of reasons for this:
Not enough pollen. It is its particles that act as a center that collects crystals around itself. Than less in a pollen product, the slower it will crystallize;
Collection ahead of time. It happens that honey has not yet ripened, but it has already been harvested. That is why it is in no hurry to thicken. Moreover, he may begin to sour;
Unfavorable storage conditions. Temperatures that are too high or too low prevent crystals from forming. This is why they negatively affect the product, depriving it of its usefulness.
This is why honey does not begin to thicken. Even if the storage was correct.
Things to Avoid
Dilution of honey, as well as overheating, affects the quality of the product badly. It loses its healing power. You should not purchase a low-quality product. If in doubt, it is best to refuse to purchase.
When stored properly, crystallization is an indirect proof of quality: natural, unlike artificial, is always candied.
If you need a liquid product, you can:
- put the container in a warm place with a constant temperature, at t 40C the delicacy gradually melts, while the container is periodically turned;
- heat the substance in a water bath at 45C for about 7 minutes, stirring;
- put the jar in water preheated to the desired temperature and stir until completely softened;
- place the container several times in the microwave (defrosting mode) for 40 seconds, turning to heat evenly;
- buy a special electrical appliance – decrystallizer, it heats up the container to the set temperature.
Candied honey is as valuable as liquid. Crystallization is one of its natural states due to long-term storage.
In the spring, nectar is released weakly, that is, a little substance can be collected. After wintering, a bee is not able to find the required amount of food. The weather is also not appropriate – honey plants appear, but a cold snap may come, which is why they do not provide a valuable product.
That is, if someone offers you May honey, you better be careful. Why? It tastes almost nonexistent. It is recommended to take proven July varieties.
So, the natural product will still be sugared. This is totally normal. In some varieties, the process occurs earlier. In any case, it is inevitable. If crystallization does not occur, this should alert you.