What is Honey processing and why it is done?

In earlier days people use to consume honey directly from beehives. All the benefits attributed to honey is because of its bioactive compounds like antioxidants, enzymes, bee pollen and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Nowadays, when commercial interest took over. They process honey extensively to make it more appealing and smooth, Compromising its nutritional and medicinal value.
Processing of honey includes heating, filtration and moisture reduction. It is a common practice in most of the commercial honey.

Heating Honey:
If honey is Heated beyond 45°C, It starts losing its nutritive value. The industry practice is to heat honey around 65-70°C. This robs all the nutrition from honey. This is done to pasteurise and kill yeast activity in honey.

Honey filtration:
The industry practice is to filter honey with 10-50 micron filter. They do the filtration to remove all the undissolved particles in honey including wax particles and bee pollen. This delays the crystallisation process of honey and also makes honey smooth and shining.

Moisture reduction:
During bulk production of honey, honey often extracted unripe. Unripe honey is thin watery with moisture ranging from 20-25%. Whereas Ripe honey has 18% moisture. That extra moisture is removed by heating and evaporating honey. But heat also removes the natural aroma of honey besides, causing damage to its nutrition value.

Why processing?

During commercial production, honey often extracted unripe. Unripe honey has a moisture level of 20-25%. This excess moisture may cause fermentation in honey.
Honey is heated to kill yeast and remove excess moisture. High heat also makes ultrafiltration possible.
High heating and ultrafiltration give honey a shining and smooth look. Also, retard the crystallisation process of honey.
Moreover, the blending of adulterants is done during the heat processing of honey.

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