Taking advantage of the high demand for pure honey, unscrupulous manufacturers have been flooding the market with fake products also known as adulterated honey- honey that has additives such as glucose, molasses or sugar syrup. As you may know, pure honey on the other hand is a natural product made by honey bees. It is basically the floral nectar collected by bees, refined and reserved in the combs inside the bee hives.
Industrial tests taken to determine whether honey is organic or fake vary from country to country. For this reason, what is considered pure in one region might be fake in another. It is, however, widely believed that the best honey originates from Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and Palestine, who are known to have recorded beekeeping activities from as early as 1881!
For those who would love to test the purity of their honey from the comfort of their own home, here are 5 easy DIY tests:
- The Thumb Test.
Depending on the source, various types of honey cover a wide range of flammability, density and other characteristics. The thumb test is probably the simplest way of testing the purity of honey. Simply put a small drop of honey on your thumb, then wait to see if it spills or spreads out. Pure honey stays intact, if it spreads or spills then it is definitely fake.
- The Vinegar Method.
To test if your honey is fake using this method, add two to three drops of vinegar and some water into the honey then stir. If the mixture starts to foam, then your honey is adulterated. If you do not notice any foaming, then it is pure.
3. The Water Glass Test.
Another simple way that you can use to verify the purity of honey is by observing how it moves down into a glass of water. Add a teaspoon of honey into the glass and wait to see whether it will dissolve or sink. Even though it also depends on viscosity and density, it takes a little more effort for pure honey to dissolve in water. Adulterated honey, however, easily dissolves as soon as it is dropped in water.
4. The Fire Test.
Organic honey is flammable. To use this method, just stick a dry match into the honey and then try lighting it. If it sparks, it is real. Fake honey will not spark the match stick due to the amount of moisture in it. This method is mainly used to check for added water, it is therefore advisable that you try other methods to check for different substances that might have been added.
5. The Bread Test.
When you spread pure honey on a slice of bread, it hardens within a few minutes. Adulterated honey on the other hand dampens the bread due to the honey’s high moisture content.
In practice, most of these testing methods may be inconclusive on their own. It is wise to consider using more than one method to validate your findings.
It’s important that you do take the time to make sure that your honey is pure. Pure honey is popular for its health benefits such as prevention of cancer and heart disease, reduction of cough and throat irritation and its antibacterial qualities. This is however not true for adulterated honey as some products have been reported to contain illegal antibiotics and heavy metals which might be harmful to your health. It is preferable that you consume honey from countries that provide high quality pure honey, like Palestine, which is arguably one of the most trusted honey-producing country in the Middle East.
It can be difficult to find pure honey at affordable prices, but here are some trusted places you can obtain honey from. Hope this helps!