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What is pure honey?

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One of the most commonly asked questions is what is pure honey? Is it the same as raw honey?

Like the words ‘raw’ and ‘superfood’, pure honey is something that many people have heard of, but they don’t necessarily know what it means.

Natural honey, raw honey and pure honey are often confused with one another - you can read about the difference between raw honey and pure honey in a previous blog here, but right now let’s talk about pure honey. We will clear up any confusion before we tell you what it is and why our honey is pure.

So... What is pure honey?

definition of pure honey with bee icons

In its simplest form, pure honey is gently filtered with nothing at all being added to the honey. No sweeteners, oils or flavours. This doesn’t mean that it is tasteless.

Honey gets its flavour from nature, from the pollen in the local flowers and plants that the bees forage on. This means you can get many types of pure honey; blossom, heather, manuka, bush etc.

Each specific honey will be unique and will depend on the environment the flowers (and bees) have had to thrive in. A bit like wine, a blossom honey from New Zealand will taste entirely different from blossom in Scotland, and preference comes down to a matter of individual taste.

Unlike what is known as raw honey, pure honey can be filtered to remove any nasties that shouldn’t be there; pollen, dead bees, dirt etc. To read more about raw honey, check out our blog here.

Why is pure honey so popular?

A bit like buzz words such as ‘raw’ and ‘natural’ there is a growing interest in eating food that has been untampered with. Any blend with other products dilutes this purity.

Corn syrup for example has been artificially removed from its source, then processed and blended with the honey from the hives, meaning the sugars are often harder for the body to break down.

Both heather and manuka honey have been discovered to have healing properties and people don’t want this to be affected.

Left: Katie next to hives in New Zealand. Right: hives on heather hills in Scotland

Is pure honey healthy?

Pure honey is healthy, in moderation. A teaspoon a day is recommended to soak up all the nutritional goodness.

Pure honey benefits

As mentioned, our pure heather honey has been discovered to have naturally healing properties such as;

  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial 
  • Anti inflammatory 

Read one of our older blogs to find out more about the discovery of these natural healing properties of our pure honey by clicking here.

So is pure honey good for you? It’s packed full of nutrients, it’s a healthier alternative to naturally sweetened foods and is very yummy so we reckon, yes!

scottish heather honey call to action

How do you know if honey is pure?

Most pure honeys will say on the jar, but if not, there are several ways you can test if your honey is pure.

  1. If a honey is left for a while in the cupboard (we’re talking weeks and months), the honey in opened jars or tubes may start to separate into different layers if it is not pure. This should not be confused with the naturally occurring crystallisation process that would be a sign of a good honey.

  2. When put in water, pure honey tends to sink to the bottom of a glass, unlike ‘fake’ honey which might dissolve into the water.

  3. Pure honey usually stays where it is and takes a while to drip down. Real honey actually isn’t as runny as people think; runny honeys usually have added ingredients such as rapeseed oil.

  4. As mentioned in our blog on crystallisation in honey (a natural process within honey), our honey sometimes crystallises, and to return this to its regular ‘spreadable’ consistency it needs to be warmed. When warmed on a stove or cooker, honey that is not pure tends to bubble rather than melt.

  5. Finally, did you know pure honey is flammable? If you want to test this for yourself, why not try dipping a match in honey? If it sets alight easily, it is most likely pure honey.

So, which brand of honey is 100% pure?

As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the honey, the more likely it is to be adulterated aka blended, mixed with additives etc. The best honey has a ton of health benefits, and only a small amount is produced, so it’s priced accordingly.

For The Scottish Bee Company, that means we can give our beekeepers the compensation they deserve for their expert knowledge of plant and animal biology, and the hard manual work they do in our isolated apiary sites to produce 100% pure honey.

Here at the Scottish Bee Company, our honey is pure and untampered with - why not try a jar and see for yourself!

1 comment

V & D Glennie
V & D Glennie

We have now ordered Scottish Bee Company, Heather Honey twice and it is the best honey we have ever tasted. Absolutely second to none. Its no wonder you received your recent awards.

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