Pure Honey Or Fake Honey? Methods And Tips To Identify Them

How can you identify pure honey or fake honey without visiting the food laboratories for tests and analyses?

Honey can be a great alternative to your refined sugar, a source of empty calories. Not only can this beautiful ingredient produced by nature sweeten your life, but it is also rich in minerals, nutrients and living enzymes. Before buying, if you want to enjoy the benefits of using honey, you need to consider its purity.

Honey’s greatest problem is its quality. Finding good, pure honey can be a challenge. Adulteration is prevalent, like many other food commodities.

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The word “adulterated honey” means that fructose, dextrose, molasses, corn syrup, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, starch, or any other similar product has been added to the honey, other than the floral nectar that honey bees obtain, process and store in the comb.

Pure honey is scarce and very costly, due to the high demand for medicinal and nutritional properties of honey. Also, a contributing factor to why real honey is scarce and expensive is the high rate at which bees are killed due to incorrect methods of extracting honey.

How To Identify Pure Honey Or Fake Honey Before Buying

So, can you tell the difference between pure honey or fake honey? Test it at home in order to know the truth. Here are some easy tricks to check the purity of honey and how to spot it:

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  • The Thumb Test: To know if it is pure honey or fake honey, place a small amount of the honey on your thumb and check if it spills like any other liquid spills or spreads around. It may not be pure if it does spill or spread. This is because pure honey is thick and hardly spread while adulterated honey is usually runny. Pure honey adheres to the layer on which it is spread and does not drip away. In addition, due to the presence of added sugar, the taste of impure honey can persist on your tongue for a longer time.
  • The Water Test: To check if its pure honey or fake honey, get a glass cup filled with water and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Artificial or adulterated honey will dissolve in the water and you will see it around the glass. On the other hand, if the honey is original, it will remain intact and settle right at the bottom of the glass cup.
identify pure honey or fake honey with water test
  • The Vinegar-water Test: Mix together a tablespoon of honey, some water and 2-3 drops of vinegar essence in a bowl. If this mixture foams up, then there is a very high likelihood of adulterated honey.
  • The Heat Test: If you heat pure honey, it quickly caramelises and doesn’t get foamy. Nevertheless, it may not caramelise and it becomes bubbly on heating in the case of impure honey. This is another way to identify pure honey or fake honey.

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  • The Flame Test: Pure honey is flammable in nature. When carrying out this experiment, we will ask you to exercise the utmost caution and do it at your own risk. Take and dip a dry matchstick in honey. Attack against the matchbox with the matchstick. Your honey is pure if it lights up. It may be adulterated if it does not light up and may also have any additional moisture during exposure.
pure honey or fake honey test by heat

Tips To Know If The Honey Is Original Or Adulterated

  • Pure honey is fairly thick and takes the time to move from one side of the jar to the other.
  • Fake honey is not dense at all. It is very light and runny.
  • Pure honey when rubbed between fingers, appears not to be sticky. 
  • Fake honey, due to the high percentage of added sweeteners and additives, is relatively sticky.
  • Pure honey’s taste diminishes in a matter of minutes. If you heat and cool pure honey, you’ll change the taste and kill all the values of healing and nutrition.
  • Fake honey’s taste will remain the same for a little longer due to added sugars and sweeteners.

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  • Pure honey, once detected mild fragrance and aromas can actually be perceived, probably the actual scent of the flowers from which the nectar was obtained.
  • Fake honey usually doesn’t have a scent or only a foul scent from the manufacturing.
  • If the pure honey is heated, it quickly caramelizes and does not produce foam.
  • Fake honey never caramelizes but produces the foam and become bubbly due to the addition of moisture, sugars and water.
  • Pure honey doesn’t dissolve in liquid, but it’s going to lump and settle down. Gets diluted for a while when shaken. When honey and methylated spirits in equal quantities are mixed together, the honey settles down at the bottom.
  • Fake honey stays incoherent and immediately dissolve in water. Dissolves and renders the solution milky when mixed with methylated spirit.
  • As for pure honey, if you plunge a matchstick into the honey and then light it, it will light up without hesitation.
  • Because of the presence of moisture in fake honey, match stick does not light easily.

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  • A slice of bread hardens in a few minutes when pure honey is spread on it.
  • Because of the presence of moisture in fake honey, it makes the bread sticky.
  • Few drops of pure honey poured on a blotting paper, are not absorbed. It will not leave stains when poured on a piece of white cloth.
  • Fake honey gets absorbed in blotting paper. Leaves a white piece of cloth with stains when poured on a piece of white cloth.
  • Pure honey has lots of impurities in it e.g dirty-looking spores, body parts of pollen and dead bees.
  • Fake honey has no impurities.
  • The yolk of an egg appears to be cooked when pure honey is poured into a container with the yolk alone and the mixture stirred together.
  • Fake honey has no effect on egg yolk when they are mixed together.

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As you can see, there are quite a number of methods and tips you can use to determine or know if it’s pure honey or fake honey.

The medical information provided in this article is provided as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.

When observing its physical properties, many of the variations between pure and adulterated honey can also be detected with the naked eye alone. Pure honey is dense and flows into a stream alone. It has a soft texture and will never divide into layers, offering a distinctly sweet aroma. Raw honey, which in its purest form is honey, often leaves in your throat when consumed a slight tingling feeling or a mild burning sensation.

These are the main methods that can be used to check if it’s pure honey or fake honey before buying it to avoid wasting your money.

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Remember these tests and one day they’ll help you avoid adulterated honey which contains too much artificial sugar that’s not ideal for your health.

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