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Honey and its Benefits (I)

May 11, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $0.50   Views: 902

This article is about honey and its different varieties. Honey is a thick sweet liquid produced by the honey bees of genus Apis by using nectar from flowers


Honey and its Benefits (I)

What is honey?

Honey is a thick sweet liquid produced by the honey bees of genus Apis by using nectar from flowers. While many other insects and bee species consume nectar, honey bees refine and concentrate the nectar by a process of regurgitation to produce honey. The sugar rich nectar is regurgitated by the honey bees a number of times till it is partially digested and then is stored in the honeycombs for further evaporation of water. Reduced water content leads to concentration of sugar content of the honey and also prevents fermentation. This concentrated partially digested honey is stored in the wax honeycombs inside beehives as a primary food source for the honeybees in winter times or for times when food is scarce.

Types/classification of honey:

Honey can be classified in two ways based on its production depending upon the floral source and its processing and packaging.

Classification according to production:

Generally honey is classified based on the floral source of the nectar from which it was produced.

It is produced specifically by using the nectar from one type of flower. Different monofloral honeys produced by using nectars from different flowers have distinctive color and taste. For example Orange blossom, blueberry, clover, thyme, thistle etc.

Polyfloral honey is also known as Wildflower honey and is produced by using nectars from a variety of flower sources. The color and flavor varies from year to year depending upon the availability of flowers in a particular year and season.

It is the commercially available honey which is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin.

Honeydew honey:
This honey is produced from the sweet secretions of aphids or other plant sap sucking insects rather than nectar of the flowers. It is very dark brown in color and less sweet as compared to nectar honeys.

Classification according to processing and packaging:

Mostly honey is marketed in golden liquid form but can also be made available in other forms due to a variety of packaging and processing methods used in the honey industry.

Comb honey:
It is the honey in its original form in the honeycomb. The honeycomb is edible and is cut out in specific shapes for packaging. That is why it is sometimes also referred as cut-comb honey.

Liquid honey:
It is the most common form of commercially available honey which is obtained by centrifugal force, gravity, filtering and straining.

Crystallized honey:
It is the honey in which a part of the sugar content has spontaneously crystallized over time.

Whipped honey:
It is a processed honey which contains small crystals and has a smooth spreadable consistency. It is also known as churned honey, spun honey or creamed honey.

Dried honey:
The honey is completely dried to make completely solid, non-sticky granules and is used to garnish desserts.

How to differentiate between natural and processed honey?

Honey is graded based on its color and optical density by using a scale called Pfund scale which varies from 0 for “water white” honey to more than 114 for “dark amber honey”. High quality honey can be distinguished by its aroma, taste and consistency. Honey rich in water content (more than 20%) is not considered good as it increases the chances of fermentation. High quality honey should flow in a stream from a knife without breaking into small separate drops. Honey should be clear and should not set into layers. Good grade honey has natural aroma and is free from caramelization, smoke, fermentation, chemicals and other causes which can lead to change in taste or appearance.

Author: deepa        
Posted Date: 05/12/2012    Points:1    

A great article worth reading. Thanks dear for the wonderful post and pictures.
Author: Sarika        
Posted Date: 05/20/2012    Points:1    

Thanks Deepa. I am happy that you liked my article. I hope it was beneficial for you.

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