Honey is incredibly popular and with good reason. It’s nutrient-rich, has antioxidants, and is better for blood sugar than regular sugar. For many people, it forms part of their health and immune-boosting regimen, as part of the garlic, ginger and lemon drink. For this reason, bastardized and adulterated honey has hit the market which is worrying. Here are some tests you can run on your honey to know if you’re stuff is genuine.
Fake or adulterated honey
One common con is selling a mixture of molasses (sukari nguru) as honey. Fake honey can also be made by mixing sugar, corn syrup and other sweeteners with water and small quantities of genuine honey and food colouring. Genuine honey can also be adulterated by diluting it with high fructose corn syrup, other types of syrup like maple syrup and even water.
Dip your thumb into the honey and then press it against your index finger. If the honey is real, it will stay on your finger and not run. If it is fake, it will be runny and will quickly drip off your finger.
Real honey is thick and has a consistent texture, while fake honey is often watery and has a thinner consistency.
Genuine honey tends to crystallize and become thicker when stored. Fake honey does not harden. It remains just as soft and syrupy.
Flame or heat test
Genuine honey is flammable. The flame test includes dropping some honey on cotton and setting it ablaze. If it burns, it’s genuine. If it does not, it’s not legit.
For the flame test, heat an item made of stainless steel and dip it into the honey. If honey sticks to it while you’re pulling it out, it’s genuine. If it quickly flows back into the jar, it’s fake.
Genuine honey is denser than water and does not readily mix. Put water in a clean container then add drops of honey. If it sinks and forms clumps, it’s genuine. If it dissolves easily, it’s fake. Real honey will only dissolve in water if it is stirred or the water is hot.
Place a few drops of the honey on a paper towel or napkin then wait about 30 seconds. If it soaks through and wets the paper, it’s fake or likely diluted. Genuine honey does not soak through. Real honey has less than 20% moisture which keeps the paper dry.
If you drop drops of honey on paper, real honey forms small round droplets while fake honey spreads out in a flat irregular shape.
Spread honey on a slice of bread. Genuine honey will harden after about 60 seconds. Fake honey does not harden and because of its higher moisture content makes the bread wet.
You can use iodine, vinegar and methylated spirits to test the honey.
Iodine: Add a few drops of iodine to a small amount of honey. If it turns blue or black, the honey has been mixed with starch and is not pure.
Vinegar: Mix a small amount of honey, with an equal amount of white vinegar. If the mixture foams or fizzes, the honey is not pure.
Methylated spirits: Drop a few drops of honey into a small container of methylated spirits. Genuine honey will settle at the bottom of the container, fake honey will instead dissolve and make the solution appear milky.
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