You may have noticed that honey sometimes looks cloudy and more dense than expected, with a grainy texture, and doesn’t flow as easily. That’s because it’s crystallised.
Contrary to what some may think, crystallisation is perfectly natural, and an undisputable indication of purity.
I get a lot of questions about this, as it’s not quite clear to many people why it happens or if it means that something’s wrong with the honey. Some actually find crystallised honey less appealing, and even think it may be spoiled or inferior, but this is not the case at all.
Crystallisation is simply the result of a natural change. Let me explain this a bit more.
Honey is, in fact, nearly always in liquid form, as stored by the bees in the comb. After beekeepers extract it from the comb, though, it will often crystallise within a few days or weeks (for certain types of honey, crystallisation may even take months, or a year or two).
But what is it exactly that makes honey crystallise?
Crystallisation in nature is not unusual at all, and is always caused by some sort of physical change. What happens is that atoms or molecules solidify into a highly structured form, called a crystal. Diamonds and gemstones, ice, snowflakes and mollusk shells are some examples of this quite complicated process as it takes place in nature.
As far as honey is concerned, particles of pollen are primarily responsible for the crystals that may form, depending also on two other factors: Temperature, and the ratio of glucose and fructose in the honey.
Why is crystallisation an indication of purity?
Processing of honey involves heat treatment and extensive filtering, so it becomes more commercially appealing. A side effect of processing, however, is that its composition is damaged and its nutritional elements are ruined.
At Trofi, our goal is to bring you raw, nutritious honey, that’s why we choose to avoid any kind of processing.
With minimal filtering, we do take away all undesired substances and debris, but we keep in the honey as much of the valuable, nutritious pollen as possible.
This way you get a clean end product that’s safe to eat, without having its beneficial properties ruined. This honey is very likely to crystallise, because the remaining pollen particles serve as a basis for crystals to form.
So, it’s only natural that honey which hasn’t been processed will probably crystallise sooner or later, but it’s still exactly the same natural product and has the same taste and health benefits as before.
It’s even safe to say that crystallisation means that this honey is as close as possible to raw.
What if you still prefer your honey un-crystallised?
I encourage you to try crystallised honey, if you haven’t done so already. It’s the purest honey you can possibly find, it’s delicious and, personally, I love its grainy texture. But if you still want your honey smooth and shiny, that’s not a problem.
Here’s what you can do.
You can bring it back to its uncrystallised state by putting it in warm water – just make sure the temperature always remains around 30oC, otherwise the vitamins and nutrients will be lost.
Heat some water in a pan, remove the pan from the heat and place the honey jar inside, without the lid. Stir gently, to make sure all crystals dissolve. Let the water take its time to cool, and you’re done. To prevent the honey from crystallising again soon, it’s a good idea to store it at 10oC or below.
Just remember that there’s no quick way to uncrystallise honey by heating it above 30oC, without damaging its composition and losing nutritional elements.
You may prefer your honey grainy or smooth. Either way, it’s equally delicious and offers countless benefits to your health.
Just pick your favourite variety, make it a part of your daily diet, and enjoy its rich flavour and valuable nutrients any time of the day.