Honey is one of the most valuable natural products used for food and medicinal purposes. It has a very complex chemical composition that varies depending on the botanical source.
According to research, man has used honey since ancient times, about eight thousand years ago. The ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans used this sweetness to treat wounds and intestinal diseases.
Several decades ago, honey became the subject of clinical and laboratory research. For example, the product has been shown to have antibacterial properties and can combat common microorganisms such as Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli and Helicobacter pylori.
Honey contains about 200 substances. It is composed mainly of fructose and glucose, but also contains fructooligosaccharides and many amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The composition of the product varies depending on the plants on which the bees feed.
Useful properties of honey
Contains bioflavonoids, antioxidants, vitamins of group B, vitamins C, A, as well as magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, sulfur, iron; slows aging, fights chronic inflammation, protects the body from stress; improves immunity, the body’s defense reactions; improves digestion and functioning of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT); has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system: improves vascular elasticity, strengthens the vascular wall; It has a general tonic and strengthening effect.
“There are different types of honey, but the three most useful types are: linden, buckwheat and acacia.”
Linden honey is ideal for colds, it acts as an analgesic and antipyretic. This species also has a good effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
Buckwheat honey is rich in iron, amino acids and flavonoids. It has a general toning and strengthening effect.
Acacia honey has the least amount of sugar compared to other types while maintaining the same amount of microelements and vitamins. And it is also less allergenic.
Choose the right packaging
Honey is best stored in glass jars with tight lids. You can also use plastic containers, but they should only be food-grade plastic.
Honey should not be stored in metal containers. Upon contact with metals, especially copper, a chemical reaction occurs and toxic substances are released. This product is not suitable for consumption.
Honey is stored at temperatures from -5 to +20 degrees Celsius. That is, it can be stored in a dark closet or safely stored in the refrigerator in an airtight glass or plastic container: it will not lose its beneficial properties.
But it should be borne in mind that if you put honey in the cold, then after that you will not be able to change the storage temperature; the container should now only be kept in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the chemical composition of the candy will change, which will also affect its beneficial properties.
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If the jar is not airtight, to preserve the nutritional value of the product it is necessary to store it only in a dry, dark room. In addition, it is not advisable to place containers with sweets next to spices and odorous substances, since honey quickly absorbs odors.
Honey storage duration
According to GOST, the shelf life of honey in a sealed container is two years, and in an open container – eight months.
If the honey is hard it will not undergo any change. If the product was initially liquid, after three or four months it will sweeten and thicken (if natural, of course). The exception is acacia honey: it may not thicken for a long time.
This process is normal and does not mean that the honey has deteriorated or gone bad. On the contrary, it is a sign that it is natural.
Possible mistakes when storing honey
When storing honey, the temperature cannot be changed. It can be stored in the refrigerator and even frozen, but it is not recommended to keep it near heaters or in a room where the temperature rises to +30 degrees in summer.
The honey jar must be tightly closed, otherwise its shelf life will be significantly reduced. The fact is that honey can absorb moisture from the surrounding air. If this happens, the fermentation process begins.
Honey should not be exposed to direct sunlight. This also leads to fermentation of the product and loss of beneficial properties.
Signs of honey spoilage
When honey spoils, foam and bubbles appear on its surface, and a sour or alcoholic smell may also appear; These are signs that the product has fermented. After consuming it, food poisoning can occur.
If storage conditions are violated, honey can be overheated, then it will darken and acquire a caramel flavor. Such a product simply loses its beneficial properties, only sugar remains.
There is another sign that honey is of low quality: its separation. If it splits into two components over time, it means it is artificial or cheap sweeteners have been added. Its use is also not recommended, because it has few beneficial properties and a lot of sugar.
It must be remembered that excessive consumption of honey, like, perhaps, any other product, can have unpleasant consequences for health. It can cause an allergic reaction in people with pollen allergy, cause food poisoning, severe abdominal pain and a drop in blood pressure, which is dangerous for hypotensive people. In addition, the product is very high in calories and can contribute to the development of obesity and diabetes.
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