SIMPLE WAYS TO CHECK HONEY’S PURITY
Honey is certainly good for health but definitely not the one with sugars added in it. In fact the impure or adulteration in honey can do more damage than good as it will make you more vulnerable to diseases. The recent Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) reports on adulteration in honey raises worrying concerns among people over how to purchase the right natural honey without any additives. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has made many people switch to natural immunity boosters and honey is prominent among them. One must ensure using pure, natural and additive free honey with all its health attributes intact.
According to the definition of honey by Food and Agriculture Organisation œIt is the natural sweet substance produced by honeybees from the nectar of plants or from the secretions of living parts of the plants or excretions of plant sucking insects on the living parts of the plants, that bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in the honeycomb to ripen and mature.
So, honey can be beneficial only if it is brought from natural beehives in its intact form without adding any artificial flavors or sugars.
Adulteration in honey makes you more vulnerable to diseases
Unfortunately, honey is prone to direct and indirect adulteration to reduce the cost and increase sales. Direct adulteration in honey happens when an artificial substance is added to it externally. Whereas under Indirect adulteration, honeybees are fed with artificial sugar syrups. Often, labs fail to detect it as they closely resemble real honey. There are many types of adulterants used in honey such as molasses, liquid glucose, invert sugar and rice syrup. Consuming adulterated honey will only lead to weight gain and obese people are more at risk to catch infections like Covid-19.
Determining the purity of honey
The conventional lab tests include Fiehe's Test, Specific gravity (to know the thickness), moisture test, Presence of sucrose, Total ash content and Bee Pollen. However, these tests cannot completely rule out adulteration in honey as they cannot identify the presence of rice syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Advanced lab tests like carbon isotope test can determine sugar adulteration either fed to honeybees or added externally. NMR is the most advanced test that can identify any adulterant. NMR test is mandatory for honey exports. It is a standard technique developed by a German company, to determine the origin and authenticity of honey.
Whether it is wild honey from beehives or apiary honey, here are a few things to keep in mind while purchasing honey:
- Look out for cloudy texture. Pure honey does not have a shiny appearance.
- Buy honey that is pure, natural and gathered from the source. You can check out Trueney honey from www.naturesbox.in. This pure natural honey is gathered from the nectar of various medicinal flowers whose properties are naturally imparted in the honey without adding any flavors and artificial sugars. The ten unique varieties are tested for purity and vitality before hygienically packing.
- Smell after opening. Pure honey will have a hint of flowery smell whereas fake one will smell like sugar syrup.
The business of adulteration in honey has led to adverse effects on farmers losing livelihood and most importantly the absence of beekeepers will mean a decline in bees. And without bees, there will be no flowering, crops will not exist and eventually, biodiversity will be affected. Choosing natural and pure honey will help in a healthy ecosystem.