Crystallization Of Honey
It is known that every liquid honey in time will crystallize, especially in low temperatures. Some types of honey crystallize in honey comb, and other remains liquid for a longer period of time, which mostly depends from the type of nectar that bees bring in. Honey that is rich in fructose remains liquid for a longer period of time. Alfalfa honey, for example, contains a larger percentage of glucose, and will because of crystallize faster than other types of honey.
Honey crystallizes slower in higher temperature than in lower temperature conditions. Honey mostly consists of water solution of fructose and glucose with smaller values of other substances. Fructose is usually present in a larger percentage than glucose and in average it amount to: 40% fructose, 34% glucose, 18% water and 8% of other components.
Glucose, in a natural process, tends to separate from water and that is the reason for crystallization. A way to prevent crystallization is yet unknown, or to return the crystallized honey back into its liquid state without heating up. That is why the use of steam, warm water or warm air can seriously damage the aroma and healing properties of the honey, if serious precautions are not taken. If during heating the temperature rises too fast or the heat is maintained to long, the honey will go dark, and the smell will weaken.
By heating, the honey loses enzymes and other important characteristics. Apart from that, melted honey can re-crystallize.
Liquid honey has no greater therapeutic or nutritional values when compared to crystallized honey. Even with all this, crystallization is an important factor for determining the purity and quality of honey. That is why the obligation to the bee keeper is enforced to start a campaign for informing the consumers about values of crystallized honey. For those types of honey that have large crystals, and because of them they are not pleasant to eat, there are TWO ways transform this crystallized honey into a creamy mass.
FIRST, crystallized honey is STIRRED until the mass becomes fine as cream.
SECOND, right after sifting, about 20% of crystallized honey with very tiny crystals is added in the honey. This mixture is placed in a warm place until it turns into a semi-solid, fine crystallized honey.
Crystallization is a proof of naturalness, because falsified honey does not performs this process. Sped of crystallization depends on the type of the honey. Acacia honey slowly crystallizes due to a high content of fructose and can remain in a liquid state for up to three years. Sunflower honey crystallizes within twenty days, and linden honey in 3 to 4 months.
If you do not like to eat crystallized, it is enough to pour some water in a smaller pot and heat it to about 40 degrees, and then place a jar of honey in it. After a shorter period of time the honey will become liquid again and ready to use. It is interesting that in some parts of the world, crystallized honey is mostly used, they say that is much safer and that the quality is better.
Fermentation Of Honey
Fermentation or leavening of honey is caused by types of yeast that can withstand bigger concentration of fruit and grape sugar. As a product of this process, alcohol and carbon dioxide is created.
Alcohol in the presence of oxygen decomposes to a vinegar acid and water. As a result of all this, honey receives a bitter taste and foam appears on the surface. To avoid fermentation of honey you should remove it from the hive when it is completely matured. This honey will contain smaller percentage of water and a larger concentration of sugar. In that case it will more difficult for yeast to start fermentation than when the honey is immature and contains more water.
If honey is placed in a wet room, surface layers will absorb moisture from the air and with it reduce the percentage of sugar. This honey is more affected by fermentation.
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