Fake Honey and How To Identify It

Products derived from beekeeping are 100% natural, especially Honey, but these premium hive products have tough competition from sources less scrupulous than the bees. Fake Honey is causing beekeepers genuine issues around the world and even here in the U.K.

There are various chemical and organic processes that are used to manufacture Fake Honey or are used to adulterate real Honey and reduce its heath value. Genuine Honey often has added ingredients (additives) added to it that are used to add bulk or volume to the original product.

How would you be able to identify and distinguish genuine Pure Honey from the adulterated products to avoid buying them?

The Truth Behind Adulterated Honey

The key ingredient used for the production of Pure Honey is pollen. Honey without pollen, according to a study by the University of Texas, Honey without pollen is not considered to be pure since it loses all its health properties. The same study also discovered that, on average, over 75% of the Honey we consume is adulterated.

The study found that:

76% of Honey sold by retailers does not contain pollen.

77% of wholesalers sell adulterated Honey.

100% of the world’s most famous fast-food restaurants use Fake Honey.

The Ultra-Filtration of Honey is turning Pure Honey Into Fake Honey by removing the pollen.

We know the process that leads to the remove pollen of Honey as ultra-filtering. During ultrafiltration, Honey is heated up at very high temperatures and passed through very thin filters to reduce or eliminate pollen.

In this way, they trap the nutritional and even healing properties present in the pollen in these filters, causing the real purpose of the Honey to disappear almost completely.

After having passed the Honey through the ultra-thin filters, ingredients such as water, glucose, sucrose, corn syrup, and other products are added to “spread or bulk” the honey and have a greater quantity to sell. The Honey ends up becoming simply a sweetener, even if its label says “100% pure honey.”

The beekeepers, the primary producers of Pure Honey, are affected financially by the marketing of Fake Honey as they sell the Fake Honey at retail prices in supermarkets at prices that the beekeepers cannot compete with. However, it is the consumer that is being mislead as ultra-filtered Honey that does not contain pollen is no longer Honey.

Beekeepers often cannot buy the jars that Pure Honey goes into for less than the price that the supermarkets sell Fake Honey for. Taste is another sign. We are often told by people they dislike Honey, this is because adulterated Honey leaves an aftertaste that does not occur in genuine Honey.

So, why do manufacturers filter the Honey to remove pollen? The answer is simple. Pollen comes from plants and certain plants are only found in specific countries, therefore if you remove the pollen you can disguise the country of origin. When the manufacturers blend or mix in honey from multiple sources in bulk the country of origin becomes the country in which the Honey was bottled and not where it was originally harvested.

It is known to the world that China is one of the leading exporters of fake and dangerously adulterated honey in the world. This led to a ban on Chinese Honey being imported Honey to the U.K. however at the same time as they banned Chinese Honey, imports from other countries soared as they diverted shipments through ports in other countries.

Adulterated Honey and Its Effects on Health

By reducing pollen and its principal healthy components, Honey ceases to be effective against various health problems that Honey is used to ease, such as allergies, anaemia, colds and open wounds.

Tips To Identify Fake or Adulterated Honey

When buying Honey, be it at a pharmacy or a supermarket, we see that the label will say that it is Honey. But can we be sure if it is pure or not before opening the bottle? When reading in the ingredients, look at the label, if it says “water”, “glucose”, “fructose”, “corn syrup” or some component other than pure Honey, it is likely to be fake.

However, the best tests are those performed with direct contact with the product to determine if the Honey is pure or not. Here are some examples of Honey tests.

The Bubble Test

We perform this test without uncovering the bottle. It consists of placing the bottle upside down and observing the speed with which the air bubble rises. If the bubbles rise quickly, it is likely that Honey has been diluted with water. To verify this, consider performing another test.

The Bread Test

Place some Honey in a deep bowl. Then take a piece of hard bread and dip it in the honey. Let about 10 minutes pass and test the consistency of the bread. If the bread stays hardened, the Honey you have bought is pure. If instead, the bread has softened; the Honey contains water.

The Spoon or Thumb Test

Both are quite similar. The spoon test is to pour some honey into a spoon and then place it face down. The speed with which the honey moves in free fall will determine its quality: if it drops quickly, the Honey contains water and other additives; if it stays in the spoon or falls slowly, then the Honey is pure.

To do the thumb test, you just have to place a drop of the honey you bought on your thumb and see if it spills. If it does, the Honey is adulterated.

Other Tests

You can determine if Honey is pure or adulterated by doing the following tests:

Heat Test: light a match and burn some Honey. If there is ignition, Honey is pure.

Cold Test: (Crystallisation): Pure Honey crystallises in the refrigerator.

Iodine Test: You only need a little water, a couple of drops of iodine and a teaspoon of Honey. If the Honey changes its colour, they sold you, adulterated Honey.

Water Test: pour a spoonful of honey into a glass of water. If it dissolves almost instantly, without beating the solution, then the Honey is adulterated.

If you want to buy quality Pure English and world Honey visit our specialist honey shop at www.treebee.org.uk