Crystallized Honey 101

Is crystallized honey bad? And is it safe for consumption? And which is the best honey to buy in India? A million questions revolve in your head when it comes to crystallized honey. We answer all your queries in this article.

Are you about to throw your massive jar of honey because it crystallized? Do you believe it is not edible anymore? Wait! Stop right there. Before you do that, read this post and we assure you some strong myths about crystallized honey will be broken. Honey around the world can taste and look different depending on where and how it is produced. Some are clear and pale in color, some dark amber. Some crystallize, some don’t. But there are tons of questions surrounding this product. In this post, we will tell you all about honey crystallization.

What is honey crystallization?

Honey in a semi-solid state with a grainy texture is called crystallized or granulated honey. Most of us associate the crystallization with adulteration of honey. Surprisingly, that is NOT the case. Honey crystallization is a natural process and not something that you can control. On the contrary to some very popular myths, pure, raw honey has a tendency to crystallize over time.

Why does honey crystallization happen?

  • The chemistry – Honey in its natural form is a supersaturated solution. This means that the sugar to water ratio in honey is far from equal. Usually, the sugar content (natural, not added sugar) in honey is more than a whopping 70%, while the water content is somewhere under 20%. The crystallization depends on the moisture content and glucose levels.
  • Botanical aspect – The type of floral nectar the bees used to make honey with also determines the speed at which the honey will crystallize.
  • Storage conditions – Temperature, humidity, and type of container used to store the honey play a big role in how fast honey will crystallize.

Is crystallized honey edible or has the honey gone bad?

Crystallized honey is 100% edible. Yes, the texture of the honey might have changed but it does not mean that it is not safe to eat. In fact, some people prefer crystallized honey because it is easier to spread/use and doesn’t drip. So go ahead and add some honey-licious goodness in your life.

Does the nutritional value of the honey change?

Absolutely not. On the contrary, the crystallization process of honey keeps the nutrients and flavor intact. But yes, if you heat the honey the flavor and aroma will be altered.

Related Reading – Top 5 reasons why honey is good for you!

Can you prevent honey from crystallizing?

The right storage of honey is vital. If you store your honey correctly, the crystallization process will surely slow down. If your honey is unfiltered and completely raw, the crystallization process will speed up even more. Avoid storing your honey in the fridge, as it will accelerate the process. Storing your honey at room temperature or the ‘warmer’ room is better to reduce the speed of crystallization. It is also preferable to keep honey in glass jars instead of plastic ones to help keep moisture at bay.

Can you fix crystallized honey?

Yes, you can. If you do not like the look of crystallized honey and want it to go back to its liquid state again, there are a number of ways to do it. But, be warned; heating the honey at high uneven temperatures will put the nutrients and flavor at risk.

The best and safest possible method to liquidize your honey is to soak the bottle in warm water at a regulated temperature. This might take anywhere between 10 minutes to 1 hour depending on the weather outside. If you want to do it quickly, you can microwave it too – though this is not highly recommended as it can hurt the nutritional value of honey.

Boiling honey is a disaster, never do that. Liquifying your honey, again and again, is also a big no-no. Repeated heating and cooling of honey eventually will highly increase the chances of losing the natural flavor and aroma of honey.

Which is the best honey to buy in India?

For our review to find the healthiest honey brands in India, we looked at brands that are available pan India and bought them from store shelves. We picked the same jars that are available to all consumers to buy, we did not seek special ‘samples’ from brands for our review. All samples were paid for by us. The sealed samples were sent to FICCI- FRACS, a NABL accredited lab that follows very strict norms of blind testing. You can read about our review process in detail here. In the case of honey, we chose to test all brands for three markers – Added Sugars, Moisture, and HMF. The brands we reviewed did not contain additives like artificial color or other contaminants. They all were categorised under “pure”, organic or natural honey. We had 4 Top Picks under different categories:

  • Best honey – Zandu pure honey
  • Best value for money honey – Dabur honey
  • Best organic honey – Organic India wild forest honey
  • Best value for money organic honey – Organica organic forest honey
Crystallized Honey 101

Honey is one of the most healthy products you can add to your diet. It is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. But there are a few things that you need to know about to make an informed decision. You must also consider the side effects if you are new to consuming honey.

Oh, honey! Here’s hoping we cleared all your doubts.

About The Author

Nishtha Asrani Sethi, born and brought up in Delhi, is a content writer who has previously worked with NDTV and Resolver. Her roots are deep within the food industry, thanks to her family business and a keen interest in contemporary food products. Nishtha loves to serve her articles with a side of humor. Her Bachelor’s degree in Home Science comes in handy while researching the science behind the food. When she is not trying to win a battle of fries vs fruit with her daughter, she is busy experimenting with her huge joint family with crazy recipes.

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  1. Can we microwave it more than once?

    • Hi, Jaya. As we have mentioned in the article, microwaving the crystallised honey is not recommended. But, if you REALLY have to, you can do it once. Liquidising your crystallised honey more than once will alter the nutrients, aroma and flavor of the honey. Hope this helped.

  2. Kanika Jain says

    Crystallizatied honey is yummmmm. I find it much better than regular honey

  3. This is so interesting to know! The type of floral nectar that was used to make the honey determines the speed at which the honey will crystallize.

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