honey Bees in a hive

Why does honey crystallise?

Some think that crystallised honey means the honey has ‘gone off’ and often wonder refrain from using it. We explain why crystallised honey is a good thing!

Why honey crystallises

Why does honey crystallise? You might have noticed that some honeys will be liquid when you buy them but quickly turn into a solid crystal-like state. Most people think this is a sign of a BAD honey and that it has gone “off”, but in fact it’s a sign of a GOOD honey.

Honey that has been heated up to high temperatures will be unlikely to crystallise and that’s because it has lost all of its beneficial qualities such as amino acids, minerals and enzymes. At the Scottish Bee Company, we never heat it above 35-40 degrees which is the temperature it would have been within the hive. This means we can provide you with all the nutritional benefits that make us love honey, such as its antimicrobial and inflammatory properties.

Now for some science…

Honey is a sugar solution that has more sugars (glucose and fructose) than it does water therefore making it unstable from a chemistry point of view! The glucose is the sugar that crystallises and allows the honey to then be more stable – giving it its “thick” property. Different honeys will crystallise at different times. Boiling the honey above the temperature of the hive, denatures the enzymes and removes the natural properties.

What do I do with my crystallised honey?

Enjoy it – it is normal. Spread it straight onto toast, maybe even treat yourself to a pancake and it will dissolve like normal honey and is easy to spread. If you would prefer a runnier consistency, warm it gently to 35-40 degrees – no higher to ensure the natural properties are maintained – by popping the glass jar with the lid off into a pan of hot water for 25-30 minutes.

Remember – honey does not go off; crystallised honey simply produces a different texture, but the goodness and flavours remain.

Have you tried The Scottish Bee Company's honey yet? 

Hand drizzling Scottish Bee Company Honey into a jar

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