Honey storage tips: Keeping honey fresh
Keep your honey fresh and tasty by following these simple honey storage tips:
- Honey is hygroscopic. A hygroscopic substance is one
that absorbs water readily from its surroundings.
- It is important to keep honey in a sealed container when not
in use to minimize contact with water vapor in the air. Honey that
absorbs water will spoil.
- Store honey at room temperature.
- A dispenser makes using the honey more convenient and reduces
the chances of crystallization (see below).
- Keep honey fresh by pouring honey into a smaller bottle for daily use.
Honey can last for centuries
The nectar brought to the hive by the bees is about 60% water. The bees "cure" it to about 18-19% water. At this level of water and with a pH of 3-4, the honey is very stable and can last for literally centuries. (It was found in Egyptian tombs.)
However, it is . . . hygroscopic. If it is left exposed to the air, it will absorb water from the air. Because honey is hygroscopic, it is extends the shelf-life of baked goods. They are less likely to dry out because the honey absorbs moisture from the surrounding air.
Larry Krengel, University of Chicago, Newton BBS: Ask a Scientist
Here are some honey storage tips to avoid crystallization or granulation of your liquid honey:
- Crystallization occurs when liquid honey becomes cloudy and
semi-solid. This can make it difficult to pour.
- Crystallization is not harmful and does not mean the honey has
gone bad. Granualation or cystallization is a natural state of
- Crystallization occurs as a function of time and of the
combination of the particular sugars in your honey
- To help prevent crystallization, avoid storing honey in cold
cupboards or in the refrigerator.
- To return your honey to a liquid state place your honey
container in a double boiler, which allows the water to rise high
around the container.
Next, heat the water to about 120F (49C). Remove the container when the honey has liquified. Avoid prolonged high heat beyond what is necessary to re-liquify your honey, as this can shorten the life of the honeytext
These simple honey storage tips will keep your honey fresh and tasty!