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Does honey expire? Why it does not have an expiration date

Honey is an excellent natural food, but does it have an expiration date? Is it true that it expires? Is it safe to consume it months after opening the bottle?

The honey is almost certainly a food, at least, wonderful, consumed for millennia by man.  However, despite being a tremendously common natural food, it is also a food whose preservation at home can cause us some doubts, especially with regard to proper preservation. And that can lead us to ask ourselves the following question, especially when we observe that it has crystallized: does honey expire? Does it have an expiration date?

As you probably know, honey consists of a product of natural origin produced by bees from the nectar they obtain from flowers, as well as the secretions of living parts of plants. They can also get it from plant sucking insect excretions.

Its consumption dates back a long time ago. In fact, while bees have survived on our planet for more than 40 million years, cave paintings have been found in the Cueva de la Araña (Valencia), dating from 7,000 years before Christ, in which a man collecting honey.

That is, the honeys are in charge of collecting the nectar, transforming it and combining it inside with an enzyme that we find in the saliva of the clams. Later, it is stored in panels, where it matures.

Does honey expire? Does it have an expiration date?

It is very common for us to ask ourselves this question, since in many houses it tends to be extremely common to have a pot of honey in the closet or pantry, stored for a long time, and which has not been consumed at all, on all because the most common is to use a little at breakfast or snack and save it. In this way, a pot of honey that we acquired yesterday can be kept in the pantry for long months.

Therefore, at this point, it is normal to ask the following question:  does honey have an expiration date? Does it expire, or can we always safely consume it, even if months have passed since we first opened the container?

If this issue worries you, you must be absolutely calm. Why? Very simple: honey does not have an expiration date, which means that it never expires, regardless of the type of honey it is.

This is due to its high sugar content and its acidity, which makes it extremely difficult for many microorganisms to survive in it. It is the same that happens, for example, with other foods such as jams and preserves, which although it is true that they have a preferred consumption date, they do not tend to expire either.

The sugar present in honey makes it capable of absorbing moisture with some ease, hence there are actually few – if any – microorganisms that are capable of surviving in this environment, so they never decompose honey.

We also find the level of acidity present in honey, which has an effect similar to that of sugar, hindering not only the development but the very survival of the different microorganisms that could decompose it.

And, finally, we must mention two compounds resulting from the production of nectar in honey by bees: hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid, which precisely prevent the appearance of microorganisms in it.

And why does honey crystallize? Does it mean that it is spoiled or bad?

If at any time you have thrown a pot of honey because it has crystallized, thinking that it was bad or spoiled, the truth is that you have made a mistake. It is, in fact, a completely normal and natural state. In other words, it is normal for honey to crystallize over time, which means that it has gone from a natural liquid state to a rather pasty state.

This is due to the high sugar content that we find in honey, especially glucose. This tends to, eventually, form a kind of supersaturated solution, so that there is a greater amount of dissolved glucose compared to what can be in a liquid state. Thus, small crystals end up being formed that will eventually attract other crystals around them, turning pasty.

When this happens, it is equally normal for the honey to acquire a lighter hue than it once had. It is because glucose, which was previously surrounded by several water molecules in a liquid state, has become bound to only one.

 

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HealthyWire Staff
HealthyWire Staffhttps://healthywire.com/
This blog also features articles on natural living, fitness, healthy children, inspiration, and nutritious food and recipes. HealthyWire assists you in building a naturally healthy, whole-family environment. The site features articles on a variety of topics, including reduction of weight, men’s and women’s health, yoga, healthcare, fitness & exercise, diseases & prevention, healthy living and wellbeing, lifestyle, and much more.

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