When it comes to honey, the overwhelming majority of us usually tend to think there is really only one 'type' of honey out there - liquid honey. Honey is liquified by most commercial beekeepers and honey packing facilities in order to reduce complications with shelf stability and also to be a visually appealing product to the end consumer.
Raw honey is one of the other purchase options for honey. The decision to purchase raw honey is normally an easy one if you care to preserve the natural health properties of honey, the semisolid consistency is preferred, and/or you want to taste all the flavour honey has to offer.
Whats the difference between raw honey and liquid honey? - heat and filtration
This tends to be a good discussion point amongst beekeepers as questions arise such as - how much heat is considered heating it?, is it considered liquifying if it doesnt get hotter than it would in the hive? (bee hives typically are 33-34 degrees C), can I filter out things that the bees did not purposely into the honey? etc.
Honey contains many macro and micro nutrients, some of which are beneficial proteins for the human immune system (enzymes, yeasts etc.). -Look for a blog post coming up that goes into more detail on these beneficial nutrients/compounds- When honey is heated past 40 degrees Celsius, these proteins begin to denature and leave the honey’s nutritional state depleted. The amount and length of time that the heat is applied directly affects this process. The purpose of liquifying/heating honey is aimed to do exactly that, kill the yeast which is found in honey which under the right conditions can begin to ferment the product.
The heating process also unfortunately reduces the flavour and aroma of the honey. Best thing to do is to try a liquid honey and raw honey side by side to taste the difference!
Raw honey is also a totally unfiltered product. This keeps the product as raw as possible and stops the removal of pollens, small morsels of propolis, wax, and other compounds introduced by the bees (which all add nutrients). These play an important role in as they additionally play an antiviral and antibacterial role. Minute amounts of pollen in the honey when ingested can also help individuals build immunity to wild pollen allergies.
Raw honey can be found in both its liquid (freshly extracted) and semi-solid state, both convenient ways to use and consume!
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