Raw honey is a popular food item that offers many benefits. Many of these benefits are diet- and health-related. However, it’s important to note that one of the best aspects of raw honey isn’t commonly known: it doesn’t spoil. It might surprise you to realize there’s a food product that doesn’t go bad. So what makes raw honey impervious to age? To get a deeper understanding of why raw honey doesn’t go bad, read below.
The Chemical Properties
One of the important details that keeps raw honey from going bad is its chemical makeup. Honey is technically a sugar. It’s a bit different from the standard sugar you find in so many other food products, but it’s still a sugar—and any sugar is hygroscopic. This means that in its natural form, it contains little water, which is very hard for bacteria and microorganisms to survive in. Essentially, it acts as its own natural preservative. The other part of honey that affects its longevity is its pH level, which helps in killing off further microorganisms.
The Bees That Make the Honey
Interestingly, the bees themselves contribute to honey’s long-lasting abilities. They start by affecting the low amount of water by flapping their wings, which dries out the nectar. One of the main ways they help, though, is by depositing nectar into the honeycombs. They do this by vomiting it up. It may sound gross, but it’s actually a good thing, since bees’ stomachs carry the enzyme glucose oxidase. The enzyme gets into the nectar as it’s regurgitated, which makes gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a known antibacterial substance, further preventing anything from growing in the raw honey.
The Means of Storage
This is an important part of understanding why raw honey doesn’t go bad. As we mentioned, honey’s low water content is a major factor that prevents it from going bad. However, if the honey is exposed to too much water or moisture, it actually can spoil. The most likely way for honey to face this kind of water exposure is through storage. Raw honey for sale is stored in well-sealed containers and dry places for this reason. Make sure to store yours the same way.