Does Honey Go Bad?
Do you have a honey sitting around in your pantry that has been there for years? Maybe it’s changed color, maybe it’s crystallized, maybe you’re thinking of throwing it away? But you don’t have to toss that honey! Even if honey had been sitting on your shelf for 2,000 years, that honey would still be as good as the day you opened it.
So why does honey never go bad? Honey is anti-bacterial, which means that you don’t have to worry about anything funky growing in your honey. Honey also has a pH of about 3.26-4.48, which helps to also stave off anything bacteria trying to make a home in your honey.
Why does honey crystalize?
So why does honey that is still uncontaminated turn into a crystallized state? Well that’s because honey is predominately sugar, a combination of glucose and fructose sugars, but it also part water (about 18%). This is what makes honey liquid in its initial state. However, that combination of sugars and honeys is unsustainable, and eventually the glucose and water will separate create crystals. This is why honey higher in glucose sugars, like orange blossom honey or clover honey, crystallize more quickly than honey with fructose sugars, like acacia honey or tupelo honey (which actually never crystallize!). Crystallization is actually a sign that your honey is raw and unpasteurized! The only reason honey is pasteurized or heated to a certain temperature is to slow the crystallizing process, but that actually takes all the good nutrients and vitamins out of your honey. So make sure to get raw honey, and if you don’t like that crystallized texture, you can always put your honey in a hot-water bath and it will turn back into its liquid state for you. To prevent crystallization from happening earlier than it naturally would, make sure to keep honey at room temperature and try to store your honey in glass, because it is less porous than plastic.
Are than any exceptions to the rule that honey never goes bad? The only way your honey would expire is if your honey was contaminated by moisture, so make sure to never get water into your honey.
So start breaking out all your honeys that you got on that trip you took years ago, and give it a try!
Asheville Bee Charmer 38 Battery Park Ave Asheville, North Carolina 28801