Best Honey Brands in India – We Tested 10 Top Brands To Find The Best

best honey brands in India

Best Honey Brands in India – We Tested 10 Top Brands To Find The Best

We tested 10 brands of honey for their moisture content, Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), added sugars and total reducing sugars. These tests helped us assess the purity of honey which in turn determines its health quotient. The title of the best honey brand in India goes to..

Honey, an extremely popular natural sweetener worldwide, is also one of the most adulterated foods. Honey has been a staple in most Indian homes for decades, but a majority of us don’t know which one is actually ‘pure’.

Honey is packed with multiple benefits, but what if your go-to honey brand is synthetic and is not even honey at all? What if the ingredient used vastly for its well-known medicinal properties, isn’t pure and is loaded with unhealthy, cheap sugars to increase the volume? 

For our best honey brands in India review, we sent 10 popular honey brands to be tested in a laboratory for four parameters that helped us determine its purity. Our analysis revealed the facts which helped us choose the best honey brand in India.

Honey Brands in India – Everything You Need To Know

This section discusses the honey brands in India, their price range, packaging, availability and shelf life. 

Did you know – The type of floral nectar the bees use to make honey also determines the speed at which the honey will crystallize. Yes, it is natural for honey to crystallise.

#1 Reviewed Brands

We picked seven brands of honey that are  commercially packed and sold –

  • Dabur Honey
  • Baidyanath Honey
  • Patanjali Honey
  • Zandu Pure Honey
  • Apis Himalayan Honey
  • Saffola Honey
  • Hamdard Natural Blossom Honey

We also picked three organic honey brands – 

  • Organica – Organic Forest Honey
  • Organic India Honey – Multi floral
  • 24 Mantra Organic – Organic Wild Honey

*The Organic Honey category is fast growing and has increased manifold over the last few years. Since the purpose of this review was a retesting of our earlier winners, along with testing new entrants – this review does not include several organic honey brands recently launched in the market. Watch this space for a detailed review dedicated to Organic Honey brands. 

#2 Available Sizes

The most commonly available sizes of packaged honey are –

  • 100 gm
  • 250 gm
  • 350 gm
  • 500 gm
  • 1 kg

#3 Price Range

A bottle of 500 ml of commercially produced honey is priced between Rs 175/- to Rs 300/-. The price of honey is dependent on various factors like –

  • Which is the place of origin? 
  • Which flowers did the bees feed on to make the honey?
  • Is the honey raw, unfiltered, pure or organic?
  • Is the honey commercially packaged or artisanal? 

#4 Packaging

Honey is usually packaged in glass or plastic containers with a lid. 

#5 Shelf Life

Studies claim that, if stored correctly, honey can never expire. But, honey can ferment if stored in humid conditions or exposed to moisture for a longer period of time. Even when stored under the correct conditions, honey can change its appearance (color, consistency) and crystallise over time. 

So then why do companies print the best before date? Well, the best before date is printed because after that mentioned date, the honey may change its physical properties. 

The shelf life of packaged honey is specified on the label. It is usually between 15-18 months. Make sure you don’t refrigerate the honey and store it in a dry place.

#6 Availability

A lot of honey brands are easily available in local grocery stores, supermarkets and ayurvedic stores as well. Different types of honey like raw honey, pure honey, wild honey, flavored honey and unfiltered honey are available on online portals as well.

Our Review Process To Find the Best Honey Brand

Nearly two years ago, we tested 8 brands of commercial and organically produced honey for added sugars. During that review we tested the honeys for three markers – HMF, Moisture and Added sugars. Zandu and Dabur emerged as our winners. Organica and Organic India were chosen as the Top Picks in the organic category. 

So why are we repeating the test? The honey industry is growing by the minute. With so many new brands that crop up it was imperative that we conducted this test again.  

Let’s take a look into how we reviewed the honeys this time. 

We bought honey from different online portals and store shelves. These sealed samples were sent to FICCI- FRACS, a NABL accredited lab. The lab follows strict norms of blind testing and even the lab assistants conducting these tests are not aware of the brands being tested. This is done so that there is no chance of subjective or personal bias in their results. Records of the entire process are maintained which can be audited.

How did we pick the brands?

We chose a mix of organic and bulk processed honeys. 

For comparison purposes, we first ordered the four Top Picks (winners) from our previous honey review – Dabur, Zandu, Organica and Organic India. Their re-evaluation was important for our review.

Post this, we picked six more brands that are easily available in the market and on online shopping portals. Few brands like Baidyanath, 24 Mantra Organic, Saffola and Hamdard were new to the list, while Apis and Patanjali were carried forward from the older review.

We also reviewed organic honey. What is organic honey and what makes it different from bulk processed honey? 

Organic honey simply means that it does not contain any pesticide and is grown locally. It is not processed and the bees were not given any antibiotics. This honey is free from any pesticides. When a bottle of honey is labeled as raw or forest honey, it signifies that the honey extracted is not a result of bee farming or cultivation. 

Which are the tests that we conducted? We chose four different tests because one indicator alone cannot define the purity of the sample. In the case of honey, we chose to test for four markers –

  • Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF)
  • Moisture
  • Added sugars
  • Total reducing sugars
test parameters to find the best honey brand

What is the significance of these tests? Now, don’t let the big words scare you. Here is a simplified answer that will help you understand the significance of these tests.

1. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) Test 

Let us explain Hydroxymethylfurfural or HMF. HMF is an organic compound which is formed in honey during storage at a slow rate. HMF is also formed at a fast rate when honey is heated.

So why did we test the honey for HMF? This is a marker that is used to indicate the freshness and quality of honey. It also indicates if the honey has been improperly handled. Improper handling includes prolonged storage at a high temperature, use of metallic containers or overheating of honey. This means that a high level of HMF may be an indication of old honey or maybe synthetic honey too.

Permissible limits – As per FSSAI guidelines, the HMF should not exceed 80 mg/kg. According to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), The hydroxymethylfurfural content of honey after processing and/or blending shall not be more than 40 mg/kg. However, in the case of honey of declared origin from countries or regions with tropical ambient temperatures, and blends of these honeys, the HMF content shall not be more than 80 mg/kg.’

Best Honey Brands In India

2. Moisture Content Test

Moisture content of the honey is indicative of degradation of honey. This means that higher the moisture content, higher the chances of the honey being fermented. This also indicates how well, and how long the honey will last on your kitchen shelf without getting spoilt. 

Permissible limits – The limit for moisture content, as advised by FSSAI, should be under 20%. 

Best Honey Brands In India

3. Added Sugars

This test is a direct indicator of purity. Honey making, extracting and processing is time consuming and costly. To reduce that and enhance the sweetness of the honey, manufacturers often add cheaper sugar alternatives. 

Permissible limits – All honeys should be free of any added sugars. There is no acceptable value for this as per FSSAI guidelines.

Best Honey Brands In India

4. Total Reducing Sugars Test

Reducing sugars, fructose and glucose, account for 85-95% of natural sugars present in honey. The glucose content of the honey depends on the source of nectar, while the fructose content is responsible for the sweetness of honey.

Total reducing sugars gives an idea about adulteration of honey with commercial sugars. 

Permissible limits – As per FSSAI, reducing sugars should be a minimum of 65%.

Best Honey Brands In India

Why is reading labels important? Time and again, we have mentioned that reading labels is supremely important. Especially when it comes to honey. Honey is often adulterated with cheap high-fructose corn syrup, invert syrup, or rice syrup. These artificial additives are a cost effective way to help increase the volume of the honey, increase its sweetness, and keep the honey from solidifying for a longer period of time.

Best Honey Brands in India – Detailed Review

Here is a comparison table discussing the price and results of the four lab tests conducted for all the 10 honey brands.

S.No Brand Price* Net Weight HMF

(mg/kg)

Moisture content

(gm/100 gm)

Added Sugars

(gm/100 gm)

Total Reducing Content

(gm/100 gm)

1. Dabur Rs 430/- 1 kg 30.53 16.38 ND 77.66
2.  Baidyanath Rs 122/- 250 gm 32.26 15.14 ND 72.51
3.  24 Mantra Organic Rs 150/- 250 gm 43.39 15.86 ND 77.39
4. Patanjali Rs 275/- 1 kg 34.94 15.96 ND 76.09
5.  Hamdard Rs 199/- 500 gm 49.15 15.30 ND 76.66
6.  Zandu Rs 199/- 500 gm 56.64 15.32 ND 78.59
7. Apis Rs 220/- 500 gm 76.80 15.11 ND 78.06
8.  Saffola Rs 430/- 1 kg 78.53 15.33 ND 80.46
9. Organica Rs 299/- 400 gm 187.78 19.48 4.82 75.20
10. Organic India Rs 199/- 250 gm 223.30 18.81 1.20 73.10

*Prices are subject to change. Price mentioned at the time of review. 

#1 Dabur Honey – Mishry Top Pick

Dabur Honey was one of the winners from the previous 2019 review. This time too, Dabur’s flagship honey performed really well. And because Dabur honey has topped two consecutive reviews, we have picked this as our overall Top Pick. 

Mishry Top Pick - Dabur Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Our test results concluded that it does not have added sugars, has controlled moisture content, and is amongst the freshest honey amongst all contenders. All these findings were in line with the limits set by FSSAI. 

  • The HMF value of the Dabur honey is 30.53 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 16.38%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 77.66.

Features

  • Dabur honey comes in a glass jar and a plastic squeezy bottle.
  • A 1 kg jar of Dabur honey is priced at Rs 430/-.
  • Best before 18 months from the date of manufacture. 
  • Storage instructions – Do not refrigerate. 
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Honey (100%)

#2 Baidyanath Honey – New Recommendation

We picked Baidyanath as a New Recommendation as it was not part of the lineup in our earlier review.

Performance in Lab Test

Baidyanath honey was not a part of our old honey review. All the tested parameters of Baidyanath honey are well within the permissible limits. This honey does not contain any added sugars, its values indicate freshness, and other parameters tested were also found to be within the guidelines set by FSSAI. 

  • The HMF value of the Baidyanath Honey is 32.26 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.14%.
  • There are no added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 72.51.

Features

  • Baidyanath honey comes in a glass jar.
  • A 250 gm jar of Baidyanath honey is priced at Rs 122/-.
  • Best before 18 months from date of manufacture. 
  • Storage instructions – Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. 
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Honey

#3 24 Mantra Organic Wild Honey – Mishry Top Pick (Organic)

Performance in Lab Test

24 Mantra Organic Wild Honey is a new brand that we tested this time. It was not a part of our previous honey review. As per FSSAI guidelines, all the parameters were well within the permissible limits making it our organic Top Pick. 

  • The HMF value of the 24 Mantra Organic Wild Honey is 43.39 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.86%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 77.39.

Features

  • 24 Mantra Organic Wild Honey comes in a glass jar.
  • A 250 gm jar of 24 Mantra Organic Wild Honey is priced at Rs 150/-.
  • No antibiotics used. 
  • Best before 12 months from date of manufacture. 
  • Do not use a wet or soiled spoon for scooping.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Organic Honey

#4 Organica Organic Forest Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Organica honey was actually our Organic Top Pick in the previous review as it had no added sugars and all other parameters were within the mentioned range.

The fact that Organica’s honey has added sugars, instantly eliminated this brand from the race. Studies on the significance of high HMF levels in organic honey are still ongoing.

  • The HMF value of the Organica honey is 187.78 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 19.48%.
  • Added sugars – 4.82.
  • Total reducing sugars are 75.20.

Features

  • Organica Organic Forest Honey comes in a glass jar.
  • A 400 gm jar of this honey is priced at Rs 299/-.
  • Best before 12 months from date of manufacture. 
  • Store in a cool and dry place.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Organic Wild Honey

#5 Organic India Wild Forest Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Just like Organica, Organic India’s Multi Floral Honey was one of our Organic Top Picks. During our previous tests, Organic India’s honey did not contain added sugars and the HMF was around 202.18.

The fact that this honey showed added sugars, automatically eliminated the brand from our review.

  • The HMF value of the Organic India Wild Forest Honey is 223.30 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 18.81%.
  • Added sugars – 1.20.
  • Total reducing sugars are 73.10.

Features

  • Organic India Wild Forest Honey comes in a glass jar.
  • A 250 gm jar of this honey is priced at Rs 199/-.
  • Best before 18 months from the date of manufacture. 
  • Store in a cool and dry place.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Organic Honey Multi Floral.

#6 Apis Himalaya Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Apis honey performed adequately in the tests we ordered. This does not contain any added sugars and the HMF is within the permitted limit. 

  • The HMF value of the Apis Honey is 76.80 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.11%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 78.06.

Features

  • Apis Honey comes in a glass jar and a squeezy bottle.
  • A  500 gm jar of this honey is priced at Rs 220/-.
  • Best before 24 months from the date of manufacture. 
  • Store in a cool and dry place.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Honey

#7 Zandu Pure Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Zandu, our Top Pick from the previous review, had an HMF value of 75.07 and a moisture content of 15.17. It had no added sugars. The reason it bumped down this time around is that there were better-performing brands of honey as shown in the test results. 

Zandu Pure Honey’s performance in our tests this time was fairly decent. The HMF value, moisture content, and total reducing sugars were well within the permissible limits.

  • The HMF value of the Zandu pure Honey is 56.64 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.32%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 78.59.

Features

  • Zandu Pure Honey comes in a glass jar and a squeezy bottle.
  • A  500 gm jar of this honey is priced at Rs 199/-.
  • Best before 18 months from date of manufacture. 
  • Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Honey (100%)

#8 Patanjali Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Previously, Patanjali honey’s test results indicated 3.27% added sugars and a moisture content of 14.83%. The HMF value stood at 47.04 mg/kg. This time, Patanjali’s test results did not indicate added sugar and all the other parameters were within the permitted range as well. 

  • The HMF value of Patanjali Honey is 34.94 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.96%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 76.09.

Features

  • Patanjali Honey comes in a jar pack.
  • A  1 kg jar of this honey is priced at Rs 275/-.
  • Best before 12 months from date of manufacture. 
  • Store in a cool and dry place. Do not refrigerate.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Honey

#9 Saffola Pure Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Saffola honey is a relatively new honey brand. Saffola honey does not contain added sugar as per our test results. The HMF, moisture, and total reducing sugars are also within the allowed levels as per FSSAI guidelines.

  • The HMF value of the Saffola Honey is 78.53 mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.33%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 80.46.

Features

  • Saffola Honey comes in a glass jar.
  • A  1 kg jar of this honey is priced at Rs 430/-.
  • Best before 18 months from date of manufacture. 
  • Store in a cool, dark and dry place. Do not refrigerate.
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – Honey (100%)

#10 Hamdard Natural Blossom Honey

Performance in Lab Test

Hamdard Natural Blossom Honey is a new contender in our review this time. As per the test results, it does not contain added sugars and all the other parameters are within the permissible limits. 

  • The HMF value of the Hamdard Natural Blossom Honey is 49.15mg/kg.
  • The moisture content is 15.30%.
  • Does not contain any added sugars.
  • Total reducing sugars are 76.66.

Features

  • Hamdard Honey comes in a jar pack.
  • A  500 gm jar of this honey is priced at Rs 199/-.
  • Store in a cool and dry place. Close the lid after use. 
  • Ingredients (as mentioned on the pack) – 100% Natural Honey

Best Honey Brands in India – Our Top Picks & Recommendations

Why do we recommend Dabur Honey as our overall winner?

Both Dabur and Baidyanath are brands that have been in the market for a long time.

We recommend Dabur as our Top Pick as it performed the best during our testing phase. Our test results indicated that there are no added sugars in the sample of Dabur honey. The HMF values of  (Dabur) are well within the prescribed limits by FSSAI.  Their moisture content percentage and total reducing sugars are also indicative of its quality, freshness, and purity.

Dabur honey was also chosen as overall Top Pick as it was the only brand from our list of winners of 2019 to continue to be on top this time too. That to us signifies consistency, and that is something buyers look out for too. 

Baidyanath, as a new entry in your list, did well too, becoming our New Recommendation. 24 Mantra was picked as our Organic Recommendation.

Then Vs Now

Both our winners in the Organic section earlier, Organica and Organic India honey, showed added sugars in our test results this time. This led to them being immediately eliminated from the running. Dabur Honey is the only brand that won this time around as well. Zandu was trumped by Baidyanath (which was not tested last time).

A comparative table to show how the previous winners fared this time. 

Brand 2019 Results 2021 Results
HMF Added Sugars Moisture HMF Added Sugars Moisture
Zandu 75.07 ND 15.17 56.64 ND 15.32
Dabur 47.42 ND 14.17 30.53 ND 16.38
Organic India 202.18 ND 16.99 223.30 1.20 18.81
Organica 385.34 ND 15.73 187.78 4.82 19.48

Credits

The entire review process has been designed with the help of Rupali Datta, a Consultant Nutritionist with over two decades of experience in nutrition and dietetics. Ms.Datta helped us determine the parameters of the review and we developed the process in consultation with her. As a clinical nutritionist with a deep understanding of the science of food and its impact on the human body, she helped us understand the importance of each test. 

Research – FSSAI, NIH

Read our previous honey review.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some interesting FAQs on honey brands.

1. Is it safe to consume crystallized honey?

Yes. The sugar content in honey is 80% which is why it is absolutely normal for honey to crystallize. The nutritional aspect of the honey remains unchanged even after crystallization. Read more about honey crystallization

2. Should you refrigerate honey? How to store honey? 

No. Honey should never be refrigerated. It accelerates the crystallization process. Even though crystallization has nothing to do with the nutrient value of honey, it does change the physical properties of honey. Honey should always be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

3. How can I melt honey?

It is advised to never heat the honey. Heating it at an uneven temperature can lead to loss of nutrients and a change in the flavor of honey. There are two safe methods to liquidize your honey – 

  • Keep it in the sun for a few hours. This will help regain the liquid consistency.
  • The best and safest method to liquidize your honey is by soaking the jar in a warm water bath. This process might take anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour depending on the weather and temperature of the water. Make sure you don’t use boiling water for this.
  • It is also advised to never boil your honey. Neither should it even be re-heated/re-liquified more than once.

4. What is the NMR test for honey? And is the NMR test mandatory for honey in India?

NMR stands for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. This is a laboratory test that helps provide data regarding the quality, ingredients, and authenticity of various liquids. The NMR test is not mandatory for honey brands sold in India and is not part of the FSSAI’s guidelines set for honey brands. 

Summary – Best Honey Brand in India

summary of honey brands in india

We sent 10 sealed honey samples to an NABL accredited lab to test them for their HMF, moisture content, added sugars and total reducing sugars. 

After analyzing the readings of the test results, we concluded that Dabur Honey is our overall winner. Baidyanath Honey is also recommended, along with 24 Mantra Organic Honey in the organic section.

Which is the most trusted honey brand in your home and why? Tell us more about your most-used honey brand in the comment section below. 

At Mishry we are all for transparency in our review processes and fairness in our methodologies. We are also duty-bound to share with our readers that no samples tested for the purpose of this review were given by the brand. They were, in fact, purchased by us via channels open to all of us as regular customers. No brand was promised a favourable result in lieu of a fee.

Any purchase you may make via affiliate links in the article, may earn us a commission. Read our complete Ethics Statement here.

Team Mishry

Team Mishry is our team of researchers, reviewers, digital content producers, and writers who are part of every review in our test kitchen. They test, taste, and tirelessly break down a product's features, discuss pros and cons and arrive at a final verdict after much debate, deliberations and dialogue. All the reviews where crucial inputs have been derived from multiple team members are where the byline belongs to the entire team - Team Mishry!

Comments (11)

  • Ramakant S Yadav Reply

    I agree about your research. But what about the other brands. Which was the worst honey among these?
    Do Honey have the natural tendency of crystallization???

    January 31, 2020 at 12:15 pm
    • Nishtha Sethi Reply

      Honey crystallization is a natural process. The type of pollen used by the bee and storage conditions are a few factors which determine the speed at which honey crystallizes.

      May 27, 2021 at 6:07 pm
  • Meenakshi Trehan Bhasin Reply

    Yes pure honey will always crystallise.
    I have my own bee farms and own honey brand. a Bee Nectar
    My honey is also pure fssai approved and organic Certified

    March 14, 2020 at 9:39 pm
  • Paritosh Reply

    This is amazing. Never knew.
    But yes, you are right that organic brands need to be explored more as the studies and research revolving around them are less.

    May 21, 2021 at 2:02 pm
  • Mitali Jain Reply

    The NMR test results were such a big news last year, and its not even a mandatory test. Interesting!

    May 21, 2021 at 2:04 pm
    • Nikunj Sethi Reply

      Yes. Saffola honey, Markfed Sohna and one more cleared the NMR testing but just read and researched that its not mandatory for honey being sold in India. Don’t know why Saffola made such a fuss then!? It’s an expensive test and not all brands will be able to afford getting that done for each batch!

      May 21, 2021 at 4:14 pm
  • Seerat Dey Reply

    Very detailed and transparent, Team Mishry! Good job.

    May 21, 2021 at 2:05 pm
  • Minakshi Reply

    Brilliant research. Kuddos to the team.

    May 21, 2021 at 5:45 pm
  • Surbhi Sharma Reply

    I never knew about all these tests. Truly detailed and insightful. Great work!

    May 21, 2021 at 5:49 pm
  • Twinkle Shah Reply

    Transparent and Insightful!!!
    Research on the point👍
    Great Work done by the Team..

    May 21, 2021 at 6:11 pm
  • Sanchita Mittal Reply

    Thank you so much for the wonderful review, each and every aspect about honey brands is explained in detail

    May 26, 2021 at 9:23 am

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