We all know honey makes a good sweetener in tea. Did you know that honey is sweeter than sugar and never spoils?
This is why there’s no good reason to refrigerate honey, and you’ll agree with me before we finish our topic for today. Let’s start!
Why Does Honey Become Solid?
Like sugar, honey contains glucose and fructose, but in saturation. Differently, honey has up to 20% water. Besides, honey has trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The reason honey stays viscous is the water in it. When water content drops, honey crystallizes.
Another factor that causes this hardening is temperature. When cooled, the sugars separate from the water and become crystals.
This is why it’s not a good idea to refrigerate honey. Plus, it won’t be readily usable.
Not to worry, this normal process doesn’t affect the quality of honey. It’s simple and easy to remedy.
It may take a while, even over an hour, but the best way is to use warm water. So, start by filling a container with lukewarm water and placing the closed bottle of honey inside.
Don’t use hot water because the heat will destroy the enzymes and nutrients. You can also stir or add liquid honey to expedite this method.
On top of that, you may use the stove or microwave to heat the honey, but not the enzymes! In any case, stir every 15 seconds so the heat spreads more evenly.
Another good way to decrystallize honey is with a heating pad that’s set at its lowest setting. The same tips will work for this idea.
Why Is It Not a Good Idea to Refrigerate Honey?
In addition to crystallizing when refrigerated, honey may spoil when hardened. Since there’s water content in honey, it can condense on the surface.
The low moisture and high sugar of honey deter microorganisms that cause spoilage. When condensation forms on the surface of honey, it provides a space for these bacteria to thrive and spoil your honey.
Therefore, keep honey out of the fridge. It’s not going to go bad for several years, so long as you do three things:
- Keep direct sunlight away.
- Store it somewhere cool, like in the cupboards.
- Minimize foreign particles from coming in contact with it.
Did you know that archaeologists found jars of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs? They were still edible thanks to honey’s natural antibacterial properties.
How Long Does Honey Last Once Opened?
With the exception of the ancient Egyptian case, honey mainly lives in our kitchens for up to a year at a time. Once opened, it could be a different story.
Depending on how often you open that jar or bottle, honey stored somewhere cool and dry will stay good for several months.
To be clear, though, honey and its antibacterial properties will last indefinitely. However, the quality may not be the same.
Overall, heat and moisture are the culprits of spoilage. You may not fully avoid it, but you can take precautions for the best honey.
Can Honey Go Bad or Spoil?
Honey may live long, but it’s not immune to spoilage. Moisture will cause it to ferment because it’s a precursor to bacterial growth.
You’ll know it when the honey has an alcoholic or sour hint to it. Throw it out, as it may upset your stomach.
Another possible effect of moisture is mold growth. Mold spores can enter during harvesting, processing, or storage.
Your part will most likely involve storing, so improper storage can invite moisture and spores. This mix results in fuzzy and white or gray spots on the surface of your honey.
Mold spreads fast, so discard your honey, as it’ll have toxins from mold. As such, always make sure your honey is sealed tight when storing.
Honey is a versatile product of nature, but does honey need to be refrigerated? Not at all.
Simply put, don’t put honey in the fridge. Keep it away from cold or hot places, because that’ll destroy its nutritional value.
Furthermore, seal off honey from moisture and outside bacteria. Doing so will keep it from fermenting or housing mold.
Crystallization is normal and doesn’t hurt its quality. Honey can return to liquid form with low and slow heating.