What is Honey Processing?

Processing of honey is a chronological procedure that involves heating, filtration and moisture reduction. Nowadays in the market mostly processed or synthetic honey is available.

People during the olden times used to consume honey by extracting directly from the beehives. The honey extracted directly from the beehive is raw honey, which is the truest form of honey. through centuries this raw form of honey has enabled humans to experience health benefits.

Raw honey contains bee pollen and bioactive compounds such as antioxidants, enzymes, and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals which play an important role in the healing and prevention of health disorders. 

It is rare that we stumble upon honey that is in the raw form in the current day. The processed honey doesn’t have the medicinal properties that the raw honey has. The processing (pasteurization) of honey takes away all the bee pollen and bioactive compounds reducing its health benefits. 

Honey processing involves three major steps.

  1. Heating Honey
  2. Honey Filtration
  3. Moisture Reduction

Heating Honey:

Processing of honey involves heating up to 70°C.

AIM

  1. To kill the yeast activity in the honey. 
  2. To make honey thin for filtration  

what damage it does:

honey starts losing its nutritive value when heated beyond 45°C

Honey filtration:

Filtration of honey is through a 10-50 micron filter.

Aim:

  1. To give a smooth and shiny texture.
  2. To prevents or delay the crystallisation process of honey.

what damage it does:

Filtration removes bee pollen, which is beneficial for health.

Moisture reduction:

Bulk harvesting usually involves extraction of unripe honey. Unripe honey contains excess moisture (20-25%) which is more than ripe honey(18%). this excess moisture may cause fermentation of honey. Therefore, moisture reduction during processing is mandatory.

Aim

  Heating and evaporation remove excess moisture. As a result, the shelf life of honey increases.

What Damage it does

Excess heating and evaporation take away the delicate aroma and nutritive value of honey. 

“Honey never expires or never goes bad” Then why processing?

  1. Prevents fermentation
  2. Prevents or delays crystallisation of honey
  3. Makes honey texture shiny.
  4. Allows the blending of adulterants.

How BHARAT HONEY escapes honey processing?

Our three decades of experience helps us in escaping the processing of honey. 

  1. We procure only ripened honey.
  2. we handle raw honey well, right from the source. Soon after harvest, we keep honey in a container for a day and allow it to stand. The standing separates light impurities (like leaves, pollen chunks, bee debris, and wax) that float on the top layer and heavy impurities settle in the bottom. This simple separation process done at the source gives us hygienic honey (Which does not require heavy processing). 
  3. Humidity may damage the honey. therefore, we store the honey in an airtight container. Exposed honey may imbibe water. (when RH is above 48%)

How we handle honey:

As mentioned earlier, we don’t follow the industrial practice of heating or pasteurization (60-70°C) and ultrafiltration of honey. Instead, before packing, we warm(44°C) honey and strain it. The main aim of this process is just to remove any visible impurities. we are filtering Bharat honey using 200-micron mesh, which doesn’t remove the bee pollen.

Conclusion.

Honey found in supermarket shelves is heavily processed.

Processing removes the nutritional and medicinal value of honey.

It is advisable to consume Raw or least processed honey, for instance, Bharat honey.

Raw Honey has bee pollen, active enzymes and many essential micronutrients which are responsible for all of its health benefits. in short, processing removes the nutritional and medicinal value of honey.


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