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How to distinguish natural honey from fake? Methods of a nutritionist, beekeeper and technologist.

Date: July 24, 2024 Time: 06:38:05

nutritionist-dietitian, author and presenter of a group weight correction program, specialist in eating disorders

“If you are not a professional, it can be difficult to distinguish natural, authentic honey from fake honey. These are the signs of a quality product.”

The season is approaching when we buy delicious and aromatic honey for the winter. The pumping of the sweet product begins in May, but the one collected in late summer and early autumn has a special flavor and aroma.

Of course, the most delicious and highest-quality honey is the one you collect from your own hive, but, unfortunately, few people can boast of having their own apiary. That’s why we go to the store and carefully examine the label before buying.


It is important to pay attention to information about the manufacturer, country of origin and date of packaging. High-quality honey is obtained from the nectar of flowers.

Photo: istockphoto.com

If the label indicates that the honey is made from syrup or other ingredients, this may be a sign of counterfeiting. The packaging must be dense and tightly closed, made of plastic or glass. This is a mandatory criterion.

However, many people buy second-hand honey and here the relationship is based on trust, but you can evaluate the consistency, aroma, flavor, viscosity, layers and solubility.


Real honey has a varied consistency depending on its type (liquid, thick). A texture that is too uniform can be a sign of counterfeiting. As for smell, a natural product usually has a bright and characteristic aroma associated with the flowers from which it is collected, and not cloying or chemical.


Each batch of honey has its own unique flavor and depends on the region and type of flowers it is collected from. It is a bouquet that combines fruity, floral and herbaceous notes with a long and pleasant aftertaste.

Also read:

What will happen to the body if you eat honey every day? Nutritionist answers

The honey opens gradually. If you just felt a cloying sweetness without an aftertaste or all the honey from the seller tastes the same, then with a high degree of probability you have a product to which sugar or other additives have been added.


Experiment, drop honey on the surface and watch it flow. The natural product should flow slowly and gently forming drops. Color is something we can appreciate with our eyes.

Photo: istockphoto.com

For example, acacia honey is usually light and buckwheat honey is dark, linden honey is light yellow to amber, sunflower honey is usually bright yellow, but herbs can be any shade. You can also ask the seller to move the spoon in the honey jar, ideally you will see layers that look like waves.


Take a glass of warm water with you and try to dissolve the honey. Natural particles should remain at the bottom of the container.

If the honey foams when stirred, it may be fake. You can often hear about such a verification method as the “honeycomb grid”. The method is quite simple, but not always accurate and therefore it is not recommended to use it in isolation. Of course, it is interesting to try all methods, including this one.

Also read:

What is Manuka honey and why is it unique? 7 beneficial properties from a nutritionist

To test honey in this way, you need to place a tablespoon of honey in a container of water and, as it settles and dissolves, you can see how a multifaceted structure appears, reminiscent of a “net” of honey, similar to a honeycomb.

Natural honey is a living product and during storage it can form sediments (precipitates) or crystallize. But this does not mean that said product cannot be used. Even in this form it retains all its beneficial properties.

The beekeeper’s opinion

head of a peasant farm, hereditary beekeeper

“When buying honey, there is a danger of getting immature honey, that is, with a high moisture content. This leads to rapid fermentation of the honey, which subsequently becomes unsuitable for consumption.”

Green honey is much finer than high-quality honey, so unscrupulous producers add starch to it. To identify this, iodine is dripped into the honey water solution and the color change is observed.

Photo: istockphoto.com

However, not a single “homemade” method will show whether the product before you is fake. The so-called genetic memory of honey does not exist either.

What is this “test”? A liquid product is poured into a plate, filled with cold water and chaotic movements are made from side to side. At the bottom a pattern vaguely reminiscent of a honeycomb forms. This is nothing more than a physical phenomenon called Benard Cells.

With the same success, similar tests can be performed with any other viscous liquid: dishwasher detergent or machine oil instead of honey.

The only reliable way to determine the naturalness and quality of honey is through a laboratory test. Ideally, you want to find a beekeeper who will be open and honest with you. It is better to trust sellers less, as they often prefer to buy the product at the factory rather than looking for regular suppliers.

Opinion of a representative for certification of products and services.

Expert on the TRTS24 portal

“Honey is a sweet, thick, viscous product produced by bees and related insects.”

To distinguish real honey from fake, there are a few things you need to pay attention to. Real honey:

It has a uniform texture without lumps or crystals. If it has a crystallized texture, it should be fine and smooth; It has a characteristic aroma and flavor that varies depending on the type of flower from which the bees collect nectar; not sticky and does not drip easily; does not dissolve easily in water, while the fake one dissolves quickly; may contain small particles of bee pollen and propolis, while the fake will not.

Photo: istockphoto.com

The best way to ensure you are getting real honey is to buy it from a trusted place. The product must have a label that indicates the manufacturer and its type: where it was collected, when it was packaged and at what time it is recommended to consume it. Mandatory documents on the quality of products are also required.

Also read:

What happens to your body if you swallow a bee? It can be found in drinks or honey.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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