"Raw" Honey Consistency

by Rich
(Mountain Top,Pa)

Is all "raw" honey milky looking? If not, can you tell if it is "raw" by looking at it?

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No Rich, not all raw honey has that appearance.

The milky look and thick texture is simply honey that has crystallized. Crystallization (sometimes called granulation) is a normal process, and most honey will eventually crystallize.

But raw honey is more prone to crystallization. In fact, a primary reason that processed honey is pressure filtered and heated is to delay the process of crystallization.

But even processed honey will eventually crystallize -- it just takes longer. And the time that it takes for honey to crystallize varies greatly depending upon the floral source of the honey.

Some types of honey will literally begin to crystallize in the combs before they're even harvested by the beekeeper. Others will take years to crystallize, even though they are raw, and have not been heated or filtered.

So raw honey does not necessarily have that milky appearance, and all honey with that appearance is not necessarily raw.

That means that you can't really tell whether honey is raw just by its appearance. The exceptions would be comb honey, of course, and honey that has not even been strained, such as this product.

If honey is so 'raw' that it has not been strained, and contains bits of wax from the cappings, pollen, propolis -- and yes, even the occassional bee body part -- then obviously you know that it's raw based upon its appearance.

(I prefer my honey without bee parts, thank you, but that's a popular product!)

But you can't really tell just by looking if honey has been heated or not (unless you could compare before and after samples - heating tends to darken honey).

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