Honey is probably the food product that can be stored naturally for the longest time. If you want to enjoy all its flavors, it is better to consume it quickly. When it comes to honey, your sweet tooth will be your best advisor!
How to store honey ?
The regulation imposes to put on the jars the date of minimum durability (DDM) which is from 3 to 18 months, but the honey can be preserved without problem several years. If the pot is not opened, you can store it in a temperate room, protected from light and humidity. A temperature of 14 to 15° is ideal. Once opened, you can store it at room temperature, making sure to close the jar after each use.
Why does honey keep for a long time?
Honey has a high level of glucose and fructose, which explains its ability to keep for a very long time. It is the bacteria coming from outside that can reduce its capacity of self-preservation. It is therefore important to avoid contaminating it with your own germs, for example by licking the spoon and serving yourself again.
AVOID hot and cold weather
Placing the jar of honey in the refrigerator will not increase its shelf life. It will only harden and lose flavor. Freezing honey is really a nonsense. You will just lose most of the natural vitamins and enzymes. If your honey has hardened, you can place it on a radiator until it returns to a softer consistency. If the jar is made of glass, you can warm it up slightly in a bain-marie, or if not, in the microwave. Be careful not to exceed a temperature of 37° (temperature inside the hives in winter as well as in summer) because you would lose all the qualities of the honey. Repeated heating should be avoided as the honey will degrade and become acidic.
How to avoid crystallization?
The phenomenon of crystallization is natural but can be unpleasant to the tasting because the honey becomes granular at the bottom of the pot. This natural transformation of honey occurs at a variable time depending on the flowers foraged. Honey can also crystallize when it has been subjected to thermal shocks. The best way to prevent this is to enjoy your honey quickly. This should not require too much effort if you are a bit greedy. If a honey, other than acacia honey, remains liquid indefinitely, it may mean that it has been extended with sugar syrup or that it contains additives to prevent it from solidifying.
The HMF rate, an international quality criterion
HMF(hydroxymethylfurfural) develops naturally in honey as it ages. This substance is an indicator of the degradation of fructose and thus of the aging of honey. It is found in aged honeys, but also in honeys that have been overheated. This happens frequently during industrial extraction. A threshold limit of 40 mg of HMF/kg has been set for French honeys. In reality, most of the honeys produced in France have a level of HMF lower than 10 mg/kg. This is a sign of a very high quality production. I advise you to buy your honey from local producers, there are some in all the French departments. You can also subscribe to my newsletter if you want to buy quality honey from Normandy.
You will have understood that preserving honey is not very complicated so Do not hesitate to share the article on social networks and to react through the comments. I will be happy to discuss the subject with you.