Food & Nutrition

How to Prevent Honey from Crystallizing, Why Honey Crystallizes, Fix, Decrystallize

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Why does honey crystallize? Is crystallized honey safe to eat? What are the best ways to prevent from forming crystals? What if you honey has already come together, how fix or decrystallize it? Read on find out more

How to prevent honey from crystallizing

Why some type of honey crystallizes while another type doesn’t

Crystallization is a natural process. Pure, unheated and raw honey tends to crystallize naturally without altering the color and texture of the honey. Usually, bees ensure a warm environment of even up to 93 degrees so that honey is kept liquid. If the beehive is not warm enough, the honey will end up crystallizing.

How to prevent honey from crystallization

Crystallized honey

At cool temperatures, crystals form within the honey. This explains why you can just place your honey in the refrigerator if you want it to crystallize. However, the crystals formed vary in side depending on the range of temperature at which crystallization occurred.

Honey stored under very high temperatures is not likely to crystallize but rather maintains its liquid state. It is therefore right to conclude that, the degree of temperature determines whether honey will crystallize or not.

Apart from temperatures, the type of flower the honey bee visits also determines the ease with which honey crystallizes. For example, tupelo, maple, and blackberry honeys are likely to crystallize slowly as compared to clover and alfalfa honeys. This is as explained by Gwen Pearson in Wired.[1]

In addition to that, raw honey has higher chances of crystallizing when compared to processed honey. This is because, when the beekeeper extracts honey, very small pieces of the hive remain in the honey. These pieces are such as those of the comb, propolis, beeswax, honey that was crystallized previously or even pollen. All these bits increase the rate at which honey crystallizes.

Moreover, whether honey crystallizes or not depends on the type of honey and sugar composition. You will find that honey which is high in fructose takes a very long time to crystallize. In the case where the honey is high in glucose, it crystallizes more quickly. [2]

How to prevent honey from crystallizing

There are several measures that can be taken when you wish to have your honey in a pourable state. They include the following;

  • Filtering honey

Large particles in honey are known to initiate crystallization. To prevent that, you are advised to filter the honey so as to get rid of such particles. When the ratio of glucose to water is law in honey, there are few chances that the honey will crystallize.

  • Proper storage

Honey is likely to retain its state if stored in a cool dry place. Honey should be kept in a container that is lidded tightly since it is very responsive to the surrounding atmosphere. Cool temperatures, that is, temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius prevent crystallization. Temperatures that encourage crystallization are those around 21 degrees.

In addition to that, warm temperatures of about 27 degrees Celsius will discourage crystallization and also degrade. When the temperatures are above 27 degrees Celsius, this prevents crystallization and leads to fermentation in the end, hence spoilage of the honey. Therefore, always ensure that you have your honey stored at temperatures around 70 Fahrenheit so as to prevent it from crystallization.

  • Make sure your honey has low glucose

If honey has high glucose, then it is likely to crystallize shortly after extraction. The honey that has low glucose like the sage and tupelo resist crystallization.

  • Be steady when bottling honey

This prevents crystallization in this case if you maintain the temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Celsius. This is done by dissolving crystals which is usually through flash heating and expelling incorporated air.

Crystallized Honey fix- How can you Decrystallize honey

It is possible to get honey back to a pourable state in the case where you may prefer it that way. There are several things you can do to Decrystallize honey. Whichever method you choose, it is very important to ensure that no method exposes your honey to too high temperatures since you need to retain all beneficial nutrients.

fix decrystallize honey

how to fix or decrystallize honey

To begin with, you can put your honey in a jar then place it in a warm water bath. This will allow the crystals in the honey to melt. Some people may prefer to use the microwave to melt honey but that is not advisable. This is because, as much as your honey may melt faster, but turning on such high heat on honey may lower its quality which is one thing you do not want to interfere with.

There are a few steps you could follow so as to get your honey to decrystallize as follows;

  1. Uncover the container containing the honey
  2. Place the container in a jar filled with water to a level below the height of the honey container
  3. Heat the jar until honey starts to melt, that is, until it becomes vicious. Ensure you watch not to overheat the water since too hot water will kill nutrients in your honey
  4. Pick the honey container and lid it then shake it vigorously up to the point all crystals have disappeared. In case all crystals have not disappeared you may need to go to step one because it shows you did not give your honey enough time to dissolve.
  5. At this point, you may be waiting for honey to cool and at this point, you need to be careful. Ensure that, as your honey cools it does not leave any air spaces brought about by air bubbles that come as a result of shaking your honey in the step above. [3]

Can you eat Crystallized honey?

There are many questions whether or not to eat crystallized honey. Many people prefer crystallized honey since it is good enough to eat especially when you have to apply it on your bread. Crystallized honey is easy to spread without dripping. National Honey Board explains that it is very normal for honey to crystallize since all honey eventually crystallizes at the end.

Even that, when the honey has crystallized such that it becomes even difficult to spread, you are advised to turn it back to liquid. There is however no danger in taking crystallized honey. In fact, you may find yourself enjoying the texture of the crystallized honey since it is creamier.

Sources

[1]http://www.extracrispy.com/food/2873/is-crystallized-honey-safe-to-eat

[2]http://blog.beeraw.com/real-raw-honey-crystal

[3]http://www.wikihow.com/Decrystallize-Honey

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