During the excavation of the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, archaeologists often find pots of honey drenched with wax. The most interesting fact that there are no signs of worsening. Chemical analysis indicates that you can consume that three thousand years old honey! Does honey ever expire? Read our article to get the answer!
Honey is sugar. Sugar does not contain much water in its natural state. No bacteria can survive in such an environment with low humidity. The fact that bacteria cannot live in honey means that they cannot damage it.
Also, bees contribute to the low water content in honey. They convert the nectar into honey, spewing it out of their stomach, the chemical composition of which also helps to increase honey expiry date. The stomachs of the bees contain the glucose oxidases enzyme. Nectar and enzyme are mixed, creating gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide also kills all microorganisms spoiling honey.
What factors influence the honey expiration date?
Why does not honey go bad? Plenty of serious investigations has already been dedicated to this issue. Scientists inform that honey can be stored forever in beehives. Hermetically closed honeycomb cell is an ideal container for this product storage. Harmful microorganisms cannot penetrate the smooth walls. The absence of oxygen also prevents fermentation.
How to determine whether the honey is spoiled? The actual symptom of honey spoilage is a foam, which appears on its surface, and a distinctive sour taste in the mouth while eating. When a beekeeper takes honey out from the hive, different foreign substances and bacteria get into the product. Temperature, humidity, sunlight and other factors also influence the product. Under these conditions, the honey expiration date ranges from a few months to several years, depending on the degree of exposure to the external environment.
Factors that reduce honey expire date:
- Temperature above 20 C
- Humidity greater than 75%
- Outdoor storage.
If a bee master often feeds bees with sugar, they might produce the product lacking vitamins and organic acids. It neither brings health benefits nor gets freshness. Honey shelf life also depends on the degree of readiness. Under favorable conditions, high-quality honey can maintain its therapeutic properties up to four years.
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How long can honey be stored at home?
In industrial production, honey shelf life lasts a year minimum. However, how long this good product can maintain all useful properties while keeping it at home?
There is no clear answer to the question of what honey expiration date is. All depends on its type, external factors and degree of readiness. It often happens that even if you comply with all the storage conditions, fermentation processes start and the product becomes inappropriate for use.
You should always remember that honey does not deteriorate over the years in compliance with all the storage conditions. However, in twelve months the product gradually starts losing its therapeutic properties. Therefore, it is advisable not to keep it too long.
Inexperienced buyers often get frightened when they find out that after initially liquid honey in the pot is thickened and sugared. However, this is a natural process. Crystallization of honey has no effect on its expiration date. Moreover, if it has remained liquid in three months after purchase, it is likely that the manufacturers falsified the product. It can also contain inessential additives.
The storage temperature and the type of grass, from which the nectar was collected, also influences honey crystallization. If you keep honey in the refrigerator, the crystallization process will go faster. Honey will not change its original consistency longer if you store it under an average room temperature.
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