Raw honey tastes great and has many benefits, such as the ability to soothe a sore throat and provide healthy antioxidants. However, it’s more prone to crystallization, which often deters consumers from buying it. Some people even buy it and then throw it away when it crystalizes, thinking it’s gone bad. They might not do that if they learned why honey crystalizes and that crystals in honey are good things. Crystals in raw honey indicate that the honey is as natural as possible. It’s unprocessed and more beneficial to one’s health, and the crystals are proof that it came directly from the source. Here’s what to know about honey crystallization in raw honey.
Why Does Raw Honey Crystalize?
Raw honey is made of water and two sugars: fructose and glucose. The two sugars together make up about 70% of the honey, but the amounts of fructose and glucose vary, which affects crystallization. Glucose isn’t as water-soluble as fructose, so the more glucose in the honey, the faster the honey will crystallize. Avoid throwing out honey that has crystallized—raw honey that’s stored correctly, such as with bulk raw honey, will never go bad.
Why Does It Crystalize Differently?
Now that you know why honey crystalizes, you may wonder why some jars of honey crystalize differently than others. If you buy raw honey, you may notice it sometimes crystallizes in layers, while other times it has crystals throughout. The crystallization pattern depends on how quickly the honey crystallizes. As we mentioned, the more glucose in the honey, the faster it crystallizes. In addition, the crystals will be finer the more rapidly the honey crystallizes. If there’s more fructose than glucose, the honey will crystallize slowly and form large crystals that sink to the bottom, creating layers. Either way, the honey will have the same taste and benefits. It will just look different in form and color once crystallized.
Why Are the Crystals Good Things?
Sometimes you need to consider the differences between processed and raw honey when learning what to know about honey crystallization. Processed honey often has added fillers such as corn syrup and artificial flavorings. They don’t crystallize, but those unnatural fillers aren’t as healthy for your body as the natural glucose and fructose found in raw honey. In other words, crystals are good because they prove the honey is raw and high-quality. Furthermore, crystallized honey is more flavorful. It takes longer to dissolve in your mouth, so people who love the taste of honey will appreciate the burst of flavor. Many consumers of raw honey prefer its crystallized texture, too. It’s easier to spread, and the thicker texture creates a delightful richness.