How to determine the quality and naturalness of honey

The beneficial properties of honey are widely known. It is used not only as a sweetener, but also as a remedy in the treatment of colds. It has antibacterial, antiviral, sedative and healing effects, it helps strengthen the immune system and increase vitality.

The high cost of a natural product is a direct consequence of the complexity of its production. But even paying a considerable price for this product, one cannot always be sure of its quality. Counterfeiting is not a new phenomenon.

The reference to unscrupulous traders is contained in the “Encyclopedia of Beekeeping”, published by American entrepreneur and great enthusiast of this field of agriculture Amos Ruth in 1876.

Table of contents

  • How are natural honey forged?
  • How to distinguish a quality product from an artificial
    • Good taste
    • Natural color
    • Proper consistency
    • Viscosity test
    • Flavor
    • Determine sugar
  • How to check real honey at home?
    • A drop of iodine
    • Using bread
    • Pencil
    • Vinegar
    • Determine a fake using water

How to fake natural honey?

Non-Natural Honey

The current counterfeits can be divided into three groups:

  • Natural with the addition of foreign substances , designed to increase the total volume and mass density;
  • Products, obtained from a mixture of sugar and water, with the addition of dyes and flavors;
  • Sugar .

The method of falsification, described by Ruth in the 19th century, is still used.

A mixture of sugar and water is boiled down to a thick syrup, after which flavors and dyes are added. To heighten the effect, the final product can be mixed with a small amount of real honey.

Since the time of Amos Ruth, the technology of falsifying honey has improved. Now artificial mixtures are made from invert sugar and sucrose and thickeners are added to them, among which you can find corn and potato starch. Quality fakes can be difficult to identify, even with professional expertise. Fortunately, they are rare.

Another way to get honey is used by unscrupulous beekeepers. Instead of waiting until the bees collect useful pollen, the insects are fed with regular sugar syrup. The sugar honey obtained in a similar way has no beneficial properties.

How to distinguish a quality product from an artificial

Good taste

A bank with honey

The taste of natural honey is sweet with a tart note, which is especially distinguishable in buckwheat and chestnut. This product leaves a pleasant aftertaste. The fakes will have an unremarkable sweet taste , in some cases a little sugary.

Natural color

In color can vary from white to dark brown. Each variety has its own characteristic color. Honey collected from the flowers of white acacia, in a liquid state is almost transparent.

Buckwheat honey has a rich brown color with a reddish sheen. The white product may well be not from the pollen of plants, but from sugar syrup.

Before you buy, you should find out what kind of honey is in front of you. So it will be easier to correlate the description with the product offered to you.

Proper consistency

The structure of natural and artificial honey is very different. Rubbing a drop of it with your fingers, you will notice that it disappeared without residue, quickly absorbed into the skin. Doing the same thing with a fake, you feel that there are small lumps on the skin.

Honey tends to crystallize after several months of storage. If in the middle of winter you are trying to sell a liquid product, then this is an alarming sign. Such a product was either made from sugar syrup, or was preheated before being sold. Honey, heated above a temperature of 40 degrees, loses its useful qualities.

Viscosity test

Real honey must be viscous

An important indicator and condition for determining the authenticity of naturalness is its viscosity. Dip a clean spoon in a bowl of honey, and then slowly remove it. This product should follow the spoon of the continuous thread. When the substance flows from the spoon, it forms a visible mark on the surface, which slowly dissolves.


The smell is most difficult to fake. The aroma of a natural product is thick and fragrant, in it you can discern the notes of honey plants. The product, made from sugar, has no pronounced flavor. How to check? If you find it difficult to smell, then you have a fake.

Determine Sugar

Whether sugar in a product can be determined using thin paper. To do this, on a paper napkin or a sheet of blotting paper must be dripped honey.

The appearance of wet spots will mean that the product is artificial.

A natural product can remain on the paper surface for several minutes, without leakage onto the back side of the sheet. The longer a trace does not appear on paper, the better it is.

How to check real honey at home?

If you have natural honey or not, you can dispel them with a few simple procedures. How can you distinguish honey and find out its quality?

A drop of iodine


Dilute a small amount of honey with water, add a drop of iodine to the mixture. If after this the solution has turned blue, then this means that it contains starch or flour.


bread Place a slice of bread in a container and leave for 5-10 minutes. If after this time the bread has retained its shape, then you have a natural product. If the bread is softened and has spread, then this is a clear sign that the product was made on the basis of sugar syrup.


Put honey on the back of your hand or a piece of paper and distribute it in a thin layer. Run a regular chemical pencil across the surface. The bold line indicates the presence of water in the product. The absence of a noticeable trace will mean that you have undiluted honey.



Dissolve a teaspoon of honey in water, add a few drops of vinegar to the mixture. If hissing follows, then this is a sure sign that the product contains chalk.

Determine a fake with water.

Put a spoon in a transparent glass with warm water and stir. The natural product will dissolve without residue, slightly stained with water. If there are impurities in the product, they will either precipitate or float to the surface.

buckwheat honeyIn order to choose a person worthy of trust, ask if he sells honeycombs.
If the answer is yes, you will know for sure that the seller has access to natural honey. Such people value their reputation highly and will not risk it by offering fakes.

Buy honey in the season , because real beekeepers sell it as it is produced. If you buy honey at a store, check and pay attention to the correct label. A fake product may harm your health.

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