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Honey - How To Spot If It Is Fake Or Not?

Written and reviewed by
The Herbals 89% (70 ratings)
bums
Unani Specialist, Delhi  •  14 years experience
Honey - How To Spot If It Is Fake Or Not?

A great alternative to refined sugar, honey is packed with essential nutrients and is really delicious to eat. There are many health benefits of honey. It can be easily added to any diet as a topping, say for fruit salads, ice-creams or as a spread.

But are you aware that the jars of this tasty golden liquid can sometimes not be honey at all but syrup that tastes exactly like honey? So, How do you evaluate if you are buying real honey?

In order to boost profits, honey manufacturers dilute their product with adulterants such as flour, syrup or molasses and even sand and chalk. If you want to get the most out of this tick liquid, you should buy only pure honey.

What Is Pure Honey?

Real honey is not produced in factories but from bees. Usually, organic and natural honey are referred to as pure honey. However, it is not always feasible to tell if the honey is pure by just looking at it.

Natural honey is made only by honey bees and when these bees are fed only at organically grown flowers, the honey they produced is classified as organic.

What Is Fake Honey?

Also known as artificial, adulterated or impure, fake honey contains additives including corn syrup, glucose, molasses, sugar syrup, dextrose, invert sugar, flour or starch apart from the floral nectar.

How To Find Fake Honey?

Listed below are a few simple tips that you can carry out at the comfort of your home to determine whether the honey you are buying is genuine or fake.

  1. Read The Label: In addition to buying well-known and reputed brands of honey, ensure that you check the label for the logo and brand name. This will guarantee that the jar you pickup is not only good quality but also genuine. The label on the jar should list only one ingredient, honey, no additives, or flavourings.
  2. The Warm Water Test: Add a teaspoon of honey to a glass of warm water. If the honey is pure, then it will sink to the bottom of the glass as a lump or stick to the spoon when the mixture is stirred. If the honey is adulterated with any kind of syrup, it will dissolve in the water.
  3. The Thumb Test: Put a drop of honey on your thumb. If it spreads or spills, then it is not pure. Pure honey is thick in texture and would remain intact on your thumb.
  4. The Flame Test: Honey is inflammable and easily catches fire. Dip a dry matchstick in honey, then strike the matchbox. If the matchstick lights with ease and continues to burn, then the honey is pure. Due to the moisture present as an adulterant in fake honey, a matchstick dipped in fake honey will not light easily.
  5. The Foam Test: Add 2-3 drops of vinegar essence to the honey and mix well. If it becomes foamy within 2-3 minutes, then the product you have purchased is not pure and contains additives.
  6. The Tissue Paper Test: Put a drop of honey on a piece of tissue paper. If it gets absorbed and leaves the paper wet or a watermark on the paper, then it is adulterated and not pure honey.
  7. The Heat Test: If the honey is pure, then on heating, it will caramelize. However, fake honey tends to form bubbles on heating and does not caramelize.
  8. The Bread Test: Pure honey when spread on the bread, makes the bread hardened within a few minutes. On the other hand, the slice of bread remains soft and moisturized if there are any additives present in the honey.
  9. The Crystallization Test: Pure honey has a natural tendency to crystallize over time because of the presence of glucose oxidase, an enzyme that removes water/moisture from honey. Fake honey does not become thick when stored.
  10. The Egg Yolk Test: When honey is mixed will egg yolk in a bowl and both are blended together, the yolk looks like it is cooked. However, fake honey does not produce this effect on the egg yolk.

You might sometimes be able to spot fake honey by its taste and smell, though not always. Honey being a natural product and produced from the nectar of different flowers, it does not always taste or smell the same.

It is also not possible to taste honey before buying it if as the product comes in a sealed bottle or jar. Therefore, it is recommended to only pick branded or organic honey to ensure that the honey you are buying is pure and genuine.

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