Honey crystallization is one of its most widely-known natural properties. It is an absolutely natural property which, theoretically, characterizes all types of honey, apart from pine and fir honey. It is the result of glucose molecule condensation, no matter when the crystals are created.
The speed of crystallization depends on the kind of honey, the climate conditions under which it was collected and produced by the bees, its content in crystal cores (pollen, wax, dust, air bubbles etc), its content in sugars and humidity, the storage temperature and conditions.
Honey contains a lot of substances with anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial activity, like flavonoids, peptides, enzymes, organic acids, metals and trace elements. The anti-oxidant activity of each type of honey varies a lot and depends on its individual ingredients. In general, the dark-colored honey has a higher anti-oxidant activity than the light-colored one.
The honey categories are the following: pine honey (approximately 65% of the total honey production in Greece), fir honey, chestnut honey, thyme honey (approximately 10% of the total production), heather honey, sunflower honey, cotton honey and citrus honey.
Sugar is an industrial product, a result of chemical processing. Honey is a natural product, stemming directly from nature and does not undergo processing. Sugar consists solely of sucrose. Honey contains at least 180 different substances, which are organically connected in such a way, that no one has managed, up to now, to make artificially, despite its known composition.
So, you eat honey, and indeed a Greek one, which is one of the best in the world, and here follow the reasons:
- It is an excellent natural product with a variety of nutritional and healing properties.
- You contribute in maintaining and enhancing nature.
- You help Greek beekeeping and finance.
Honey doesn’t spoil, if it is kept under the appropriate conditions. It doesn’t spoil because it consists of sugars. Sugars are hygroscopic, which means that they contain the minimum amount of water in their natural form. However, they absorb humidity if they are not in a sealed package. Only a few microorganisms can survive in an environment of total absence of labor and thus, they are not able to spoil the composition of honey.
Moreover, the pH of the honey is very acid (3-4,5). This means that its acids can eliminate almost any microorganism which tries to grow in it.
On top of that, the bee’s stomach contains an enzyme named glucose-oxidase. When bees chew nectar, this enzyme is mixed and breaks down in two sub-products, the gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The latter one also helps to eliminate the microorganisms.
Don’t forget to keep the honey sealed in a vase and do not mix it with water so that you can maintain it forever!
It consists of approximately 83% sugars, mostly fructose and glucose. It also contains organic acids, proteins, amino acids, water, metals and trace elements.