Honey produced by bees is a wonder food with many therapeutic effects. However, a product that looks like honey and is labeled as honey doesn’t always come from bees. Fortunately, there are several tricks to help you make a difference between natural and fake honey.
1. The container and the labeling
Quality honey is packaged and stored in hygienic conditions. The lid and the surface of the jar should be clean. Also, don’t buy honey if you notice that it contains impurities which shouldn’t appear in a quality product. You need to pay great attention to the label, which should contain information about the type of honey, the quantity, the contact information of the producer, the expiry date and the storing conditions.
Depending on the type of the honey, the colors can vary. For example, acacia honey is almost colorless. If it is too yellow, it may be a mixture of various types of honey, or it contains additives. At the other spectrum, honeydew should be very dark in color. A lighter color can point to the fact that the honey is a mixture or fake.
Even though the thickness of honey is normally measured with a refractometer, those who buy honey in a jar have the possibility to check the thickness of the contents. Turn the jar upside down and watch how the water bubble rises. If it’s rising slowly, the honey has a good density. The problem is that this test is sometimes impossible to perform, because those who try to sell fake honey fill the jar to the brim, so there is no air left inside the jar.
4. The taste
Honey tasting is done similarly to wine tasting. First you should eat a piece of apple or drink some water to relax your taste buds. If you taste caramel-like flavor, the honey might have been warmed up to turn liquid again, or it is actually mixed with caramel.
5. The napkin test
Another method to test honey is to smear a small amount on a napkin. When you remove the honey, you will find that authentic honey doesn’t leave a stain, while most types of fake honey leave a yellow stain behind.
6. The absorption test.
You may pour a teaspoon of honey on absorbent paper or a coffee filter. If the honey absorbs immediately, it is not completely natural. Natural honey won’t be absorbed by the paper.
7. The dilution test
Authentic honey doesn’t dissolve immediately in a glass of water, but will sink to the bottom of the glass first. On the other hand, if the honey is not natural, it will dissolve immediately. Also, you may use methanol, a type of alcohol obtained from fermented sugar beets or fruit. Fake honey dissolves very easily in this kind of alcohol, and the alcohol becomes milky in appearance.