Honey is a unique natural product. Perfect and valuable for humans just as bees make them naturally. And yet you can often find honeys in the supermarket that no longer have anything in common with the high-quality natural product with its ingredients that are so valuable for the human body. Here you can find out why this is so and why inaccurate labeling of the origin of the honey is not expedient and you run the risk of buying stretched honey from real bee factories (mostly from China) in the supermarket honey.
Bees normally collect flower nectar or honeydew and process it into honey through repeated absorption in the bees' stomach. During this process, water is constantly withdrawn and valuable ingredients such as enzymes are added. And as is so often the case with honey (and we will come back to this later) - this process takes time.
Why honey from China is often a horror for consumers and bees
For example, if a beekeeper removes the immature honey from the bees too early, the water content is too high. In addition, it would ferment quickly due to yeast bacteria. The German honey ordinance stipulates that honey may have a maximum water content of 20%. As a result, the water must be artificially removed from the immature honey and the yeast cultures filtered out. With the ultra-fine filtering of the yeast, however, all valuable ingredients such as pollen are also filtered out. In addition, the bees did not have enough time to introduce the natural enzymes. These are artificially introduced and often the honey is then also stretched, e.g. with rice syrup.
In China, for example, bees do not have the time to prepare high-quality honey. You are under extreme stress because the honey is taken from you early and you are busy collecting nectar non-stop. This practice is rightly banned in Europe. In China one does not speak of beekeepers, but of real honey factories. Dealing with the bees themselves can at best be described as questionable, if not honestly as cruelty to animals. The bee colonies are driven non-stop across the whole country and put under enormous stress. It is about factory farming, in which the animals or the bee colonies are separated with many losses. Animal welfare is not taken into account and it is often irrelevant how many animals are crushed and perished during these processes. This cannot be called a sustainable natural product, especially since the honeys are stretched with unauthorized external agents as described above. For this reason, you should avoid honey products that only contain proportions of "honeys" from such productions.
Is such honey still valuable for humans?
We would also like to go into the health aspect again. Good quality honey consists of up to 200 ingredients:
As described above, these are added to the honey by the bees in multiple processes and they convert the sugar in the honey. Thus they produce the important substances. Everyone knows their effect as an old folk recipe by taking some honey for a sore throat. Important enzymes in honey are: glucose oxidase, phosphatase, diastase and catatase.
Honey is rich in vitamins. The two most important are vitamin C and vitamin B (B1, B2, B6), which improve sugar utilization and keep our bodies fit against attackers.
These amino acids are very valuable, almost indispensable for the human metabolic system. A few important ones listed: leucine, glutamic acid, phenylanaline, threonine, arginine, aspartic acid, proline, valine, cystine as ingredients of honey.
Important ingredients of honey are magnesium, calcium and potassium, which are of great importance for nerves and muscles, as well as iron and sodium.
Sugar compounds, pollen and acids
These substances help digestion and the sugar provides sufficient energy. Acids like gluconic acid, lactic acid and citric acid are also included.
Composition of the ingredients
up to in percent: water (17.2); Glucose (31.2); Fructose (38.2); Maltose (7.3); Enzymes and vitamins (2.2); Free acids (0.75); Cane sugar (2.8); Minerals / trace elements (0.35)
Bee honey is a substance found in nature. It contains numerous good ingredients for the human organism.
A tip for a characteristic of good quality honey:
All natural honey crystallizes after a while - one type sooner, the other later. Crystallization can only take place if the fructose and glucose molecules in honey attach to other ingredients such as pollen and then come out. These substances are simply missing in ultra-finely filtered industrial honey. The honey does not crystallize then, but you are actually buying a pure sugar product, often with foreign additives to stretch the product.
How do you avoid the addition of cheap industrial honey?
The Honey Ordinance regulates the labeling of the origin of honey. According to this, the exact country of origin must be specified for single-variety honeys. This looks different with honey mixes.
One of the following information can be given instead on honey mixtures from more than one country of origin:
"Mixture of honey from EU and non-EU countries"
Well, then you already know that honey doesn't come from Mars. However, there is still a great risk that such honey mixtures contain some honey from China. After all, China's global market share is around 40%.
As a customer, you will learn neither the individual countries of origin nor the proportion of the individual honeys in the honey mixture. This indication of origin is therefore not very meaningful. The manufacturer can provide you with additional information on the origin of the honey, but is not obliged to do so.
Our tip: Avoid such mixed honeys if possible to make absolutely sure that they do not contain any stretched honey that has been produced under questionable conditions.
How do we process our honey?
Our honeys are single-variety honey and not a mixture of honey. We process these in our small Black Forest honey factory by hand and with a lot of time.
This means that we give the honey, for example, time to rest before we bottle it. We sieve it, but we don't filter it ultra-finely so that the valuable ingredients are retained. Therefore, it has to rest for a few hours before bottling, as a bit of foam often forms, which we skim off by hand before bottling so that you have a perfect product in the glass or in the golden honey bucket.
We heat the honey for filling - slowly and carefully so that we do not destroy any of the ingredients just because we would save time with rapid heating.
Our product is not an industrial product. And neither is natural honey. What nature offers should remain unadulterated. Because this is the only way honey is valuable to us and we want to live with nature and not from it.
Find out more about our types of honey in our honey shop.
All the best for you - your Honig-Schmidt team