How to know if bought honey really is pure honey?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
A few months ago I bought a jar of local honey; it tasted great and was very thick. When I ran out I bought a new jar; this honey tastes good but is *very* runny, even when cold. There were lots of jars on the shelf and they were all this runny (I tipped them to the side). I have never ever seen honey to be this runny and wonder if it's been "cut" with water or sugar syrup. Is there a way to find out? I didn't buy it from the bee keeper but from a bakery, and the bee keeper whose name is on the jar isn't listed in the phone book. I don't want to be paranoid or overly suspicious, but don't want to spend a lot of money on something that's not what it advertises.
-- Elizabeth in E TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 17, 2001
first step,, take it back,, tell them you dont think its real honey,,as advertised. As to finding out what it could be,, would take a lab,, and some bucks,,, or maybe the county extension could do it. If they dont want to take it back,,, then call the health depoartment,, a beekeepers club,, let them know someone is selling fake honey,, ect. But give them the chance first, maybe they will give you the name of the bee keeper,, and from then on,, you can buy it direct.
-- stan (email@example.com), August 17, 2001.
if real thin, may be corn syrup with honey added--I think this is what KFC uses in their Honey Sauce.
-- Brendan K Callahan (Grinnell, IA) (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 17, 2001.
Slow down a minute, E. I can't tell you if what you have is pure honey or not. Stan is right, it takes sophisticated equipment to analyze honey for purity. The honey COULD have been adulterated, with corn syrup, sugar water, etc. BUT, you should also be aware that there are many, many variations in the character of different honeys. Variables are affected by the nectar source, the ripeness of the honey when extracted, the method of extraction used and whether or not the honey has been heated to prevent granulation, the room temperature at which the honey is stored, etc. It may be that the first jar you purchased had been sitting for awhile and thickened before you came along and bought it. If it is from a local beekeeper it is likely that the jars of honey were extracted at different times and came from different floral sources. Lots of possibilities. I know that I myself have had honey that I considered to be really excellent, and other batches that I would not buy for myself. At first I did not want to sell some of it, but then realized that everyone has different tastes. What I do now is (for on farm sales) keep sample jars with every batch of honey I extract and provide plastic spoons so people can "try before they buy". I have never had a jar returned, so I realize that even honey that I consider to be inferior is exactly the honey that other people desire. What can you do now? Definitely take the honey back to the store and request a refund. If you have a bee inspector in your state ask him/her about the beekeeper. Follow up if you can, both to satisfy your own curiousity and to let the beekeeper know that there is a complaint about the honey. Perhaps there is a legitimate explanation. If not, this beekeeper should definitely be charged, as it is illegal to adulterate honey sold as "pure". FYI- the only way to really know for sure that you are getting "pure" honey is to buy it in the comb, which is why a lot of people prefer comb honey to extracted. Please let us know what you find out, as I am curious to know myself.
-- Elizabeth (email@example.com), August 17, 2001.
Thanks guys for the answers. I am not ready yet to complain or tell anyone I think this isn't pure honey; I was really wanting to know if and how I can tell the difference. It tastes good, but the contrast in "flowability" (what is the real word I'm looking for?) is so great between this jar and the one I bought before that I had to wonder why. I wasn't trying to find the beekeepers phone number to confront them; I was interested in finding a mentor after I bought the first jar, because I want to keep bees. I certainly don't want to alienate someone who might be a great resource and help to me. I think I'll ask the bakery owner how I can contact the bee people and see if I can visit their place and talk bees. Also I'll try to find out if we have a state bee inspector. Thanks again:o) And I will definitely let you all know what I find out.
-- Elizabeth in E TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 17, 2001.
The word of the day is: VISCOSITY.
-- Soni (email@example.com), August 17, 2001.
Yes, that's it!!! Thanks Soni; I'm the kind of person who can't sleep if I have a word on the tip of my tongue but can't remember it! You've saved my day:o)
-- Elizabeth in E TX (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 17, 2001.
Elizabeth (in E TX): Elizabeth (NOT in E TX) is right. There is great variation in raw local honey that is extracted at different times. You are probably more accustomed to store bought honey which is commercially produced and "blended" with honey from many sources for a uniform color and consistency. Almost all commercial honey is also pasteurized so that it will not crystallize. I have a few quarts of honey from last year that are set up solid. I have already extracted some honey this summer that is different from the stuff that is still out on the hives. I did a very early extraction and a late extraction last summer. People that bought from both batches told me they liked the flavor from the later harvest better, although it was thinner and lighter in color. The main factor that we as beekeepers need to be aware of is the moisture content. Honey that is harvested before the bees have brought it to the proper moisture content and capped it off will contain too much moisture and will be prone to ferment if not used quickly enough. I have taken frames of uncapped honey out of the hive and shaken the honey out like it was water. There is no adulteration, but the honey is not ready for harvest because the bees have not finished their work with it. I can't believe that a small time beekeeper selling raw local honey would go the trouble or risk to adulterate his honey. It is more likely that he harvested before the honey was ready. There is an instruement which is within the affordability range of most of us that measures the moisture content of honey. I hope to get one soon.
-- Skip in Western WA (email@example.com), August 17, 2001.
Hey Skip! Are you in a bee club? I'm in Thurston County and the club bought one for eveyone to be able to use... Maybe your local bee club has one also...
-- Laura (LauraLeekis@home.com), August 19, 2001.
I believe honey from tropical countries is always 'runny'
-- john hill (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 19, 2001.