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Honey crystallization belongs to the normal image
Honey is crystalline or granular. It is a natural phenomenon that honey changes from its original liquid state to semi solid state. Beekeepers call it crystalline honey. Most consumers can not understand the crystallization of honey, and even think that crystal honey is a product of adulteration or unnatural. This is not the case. In fact, the crystallization process of honey is natural and spontaneous. Most pure raw materials or unheated honey retain a tendency to crystallize naturally for a period of time. The crystallization of honey has nothing to do with the quality of honey. It is an attribute of pure natural honey.
Why does honey crystallize?
Honey is a high sugar solution containing more than 70% sugar and less than 20% of water. The content of sugar is much higher than that of water. Too much sugar makes honey unstable.
The natural crystallization of honey is due to its supersaturated sugar solution. The main sugars in honey are glucose and fructose. There are some differences in the contents of glucose and fructose in different kinds of honey. In general, fructose is 30 to 44% and glucose is 25 to 40%. The balance between the two main sugars is the main reason for the crystallization of honey, and their relative percentage determines the speed of the crystallization of honey. Because the solubility of glucose is relatively poor, it is easy to crystallize and precipitate. Fructose is easier to dissolve in water than glucose and remains liquid. When glucose crystallizes, it is separated from water and exists in tiny crystal state. As more and more glucose crystallized, these crystals were found in honey. The liquid solution changes to a stable saturation state, which eventually causes honey to crystallize.
Some honey crystals are relatively uniform, while others are partially crystallized, forming two layers. The crystalline layer is located at the bottom of the bottle, and the liquid part is located on the upper part of the bottle. The size of honey crystals is also different. Some crystals are fine and some crystals are large and hard. The quicker the crystallization, the more delicate the honey becomes. When honey is crystallized, the color becomes lighter. This is because glucose dehydrates in crystal form, while the glucose crystal is pure white and dark honey is brownish.
How fast is the crystallization of honey
Different types of honey have different crystallization rates, and some honey will crystallize for a few weeks from the honeycomb, and some honey is still liquid after a few months or years. The crystallization rate of honey is influenced by the following factors:
(1) honey bee plants (honey sugar composition) collected by bees.
(2) the processing method of honey processing;
(3) save the temperature.
The crystallization time of honey depends mainly on the ratio of fructose to glucose and the ratio of glucose to water. Honey with high sugar content, low proportion of corresponding fructose, and honey will crystallize more quickly. Such as alfalfa, cotton, dandelion, peas, mustard and rape honey. Honey with high ratio of fructose and glucose (containing less than 30% glucose), slow crystallization, without special treatment can also exist in liquid state for several years without crystallization, such as Robinia pseudoacacia, sage, longan, blue fruit, jujube honey and so on. On the contrary, honey with lower glucose content than water content is unsaturated sugar solution, and its relative crystallization rate is slow. Honey with high water content is usually crystallized inhomogeneous (heterogeneous body), which is divided into two parts: crystal and liquid.
The crystallization rate of honey depends not only on its composition, but also on the seeds, pollen and beeswax in honey. These tiny particles are crystalline nuclei. Raw honey (unheated and unfiltered) contains a small amount of wax, pollen and propolis, and the velocity of crystallization is blocked. Compared with raw honey, honey processed by heating (filtration) maintains liquid state by promoting the removal of crystalline nuclei from glucose crystallization. Honey on the market is usually heated and filtered. In the process of heating and filtering, honey dissolves the crystals of sugar and clears the foreign particles in it, thus preventing the crystallization of honey.
Storage temperature has great influence on crystallization, and the temperature of rapid crystallization of honey is 10~15 C. The temperature is lower than 10, and the crystallization speed is slow. Low temperature increases the viscosity of honey, which causes the formation and diffusion of crystals to slow down. In order to prevent crystallization of honey, the storage temperature is preferably higher than 25 C. When the temperature is 40 degrees centigrade, the crystal dissolves. The temperature above 40 degrees centigrade will destroy the nature of the honey.
Liquefaction of crystallized honey
Crystalline honey can be returned to liquid by being warm in a hot bath or incubator. Honey should be heated indirectly, rather than directly heated by flame.
When bees produce mature honey, the temperature of the honeycomb is about 35 degrees Celsius, which can rise to 40 degrees Celsius in summer, and make honey liquefied. The best heating temperature is 35~40 degrees Celsius. In order to avoid overheating, the temperature should not exceed 40 degrees C. Excessive heating of honey at any time will result in the deterioration of honey quality due to the destruction of enzymes, loss of flavor and color. Therefore, heating must be careful to keep the nutritive value of honey from being destroyed.
How to avoid the crystallization of honey
Honey is stored in a closed container and stored at room temperature. The best storage temperature of honey is 21~27 C, and it should be kept at low temperature at 11~18 C, because the temperature is the ideal crystal formation temperature. Do not store honey in the fridge, and the temperature of the refrigerator accelerates crystallization.
A 80 mesh filter is used to filter honey or one or more layers of nylon cloth to remove particles, such as pollen grains, wax residue, grains and bubbles, which may cause crystallization. Heat honey in a double pot or hot air below 40 degrees, melt the sugar crystals that may exist in honey.