We often observe that when honey is kept for a long time it crystallizes. The granulation of honey is called as crystallization. Lot of people think that when honey is crystallized it is not good to consume and its quality isn’t good. But it’s a natural phenomenon when honey turns from a liquid to semi-solid state with granular composition. When honey is extracted from a honeycomb, it tends to crystallize faster.
Quite often when honey crystallizes it’s assumed by many that honey has crystallized due to its poor quality, bad storage or it’s adulterated and not pure. Ironically, just the opposite holds true. If honey doesn’t crystallize for a long time, (except for honey whose natural crystallization is slow) that means it is adulterated and diluted.
In fact, crystallization happens naturally over time when honey is pure and raw. It helps to preserve the nutrients and quality. You may also observe that crystallized honey is easier to spread and is tastier.
The rate of crystallization depends on the type of honey. Some types of honey crystallize completely, while some don’t crystallize fast. If you observe at times how at the bottom of the honey jar there are crystallized layers and there is another layer of liquid at the top of the jar. The faster the honey crystallizes the finer the crystals.
How does honey crystallize?
The crystallization of honey is simply all about chemistry. Generally, honey has at least 70% carbohydrates and less than 20% water. Thus, it has more sugar, which can naturally remain dissolved and overtime crystals get formed.
Some of the crystals are finer and smoother, while others tend to be large. It all depends on the main types of sugars present in honey that are glucose and fructose.
Fructose tends to stay dissolved; glucose has lower solubility. If honey has high levels of glucose it will quickly crystallize. If honey crystallizes faster it will have finer and smoother crystals over a period of time. You would be surprised to know that creamed honey that gets crystallized rapidly and has minute crystals creates a smooth and creamy texture.
There are many factors responsible to initiate, accelerate or slow down the process of crystallization. It’s possible under some conditions that honey will crystallize many days after extraction.
Honey also has 300 substances like amino acids, minerals, proteins, etc. They all affect the crystallization process. The process can be accelerated if some floral pollen, bit of wax or dust is added into the honey. If you like crystallized honey then you could quicken the entire process by adding a spoon of crystallized honey to liquid honey.
How to de-crystallize honey?
You can de-crystallize honey by simply heating it. But hot temperatures should be avoided if you want to preserve the natural nutrients of honey.
Follow these below steps to de-crystallize honey:
- Don’t take a plastic jar always take a glass jar. Take a pot of water that fills up to around ½ or ⅔ of the sides of the honey jar. Don’t cover the jar with the lid.
- After you place honey jar in the pot, heat the water but avoid boiling it. Now stir the honey after every few minutes to help break the crystals.
- Don’t let the hot water splash inside the jar.
- When honey becomes smooth once again remove the jar from the water.
- Seal the jar tightly and carefully. Store it in a cool and dry place.
- Humid temperature and type of packing can make a difference. If you wish to delay the crystallization process, temperature needs to be considered. At room temperature, the crystallization (subject to the type of honey) would begin in many weeks, months or several days.
Crystallization happens over time. If you want to delay the process you can do the following:
- You need to maintain steady heat – 104°-140°F when the honey is bottled.
- Store honey is appropriate containers. The container should be air tight and away from water.
- Store honey in a cool dry location (50°-70°F). If you store it in temperature above 70°F the quality of honey suffers and it lessens the nutrition levels. You will end up compromising the quality of honey.
- Choose to have a quick and mild heat treatment to dissolve the crystals if any and let the air bubbles get expelled as that could initiate crystallization.
If you have crystallized honey don’t think it’s spoilt and throw it. In fact, it tastes delicious in tea, yogurt or oatmeal. You can use it while cooking chicken as well to spread the glaze.
Visit Navmi’s www.navmi.co.in website to buy delicious, natural and raw honey.
The focus of Navmi has always been to reach out to customers with pure, natural and chemical free foods. All its products like Cold Pressed oils, A2 ghee, different types of natural Flavoured honey, Jaggery, Jaggery powder, turmeric, Rock Salts, etc are all chemical free. We believe that unprocessed foods contain higher amounts of antioxidants, it reduces risk of heart disease, cancers and other health issues.
Visit our site (Nirlesh Foods Private Limited or Navmi) www.navmi.co.in to know more about nutritionally pure and unprocessed food. Make a conscious and a healthy choice of foods.