Published on 05/17/2016
Crystallisation is a natural process which over time affects honey when it is preserved, but it can be reversed by liquefying the honey with various methods involving the use of heat.
Considered to be a perfect natural food, honey in its raw state contains numerous enzymes beneficial to the human body. Furthermore, it soft texture and delicious sweetness make it an ideal substitute for refined industrial sugars.
In the course of its preservation, honey often hardens and loses its silky and sticky texture, although its taste and benefits will remain unchanged. Crystallisation is a natural process which often occurs faster in honeys containing high levels of glucose, such as alfalfa, cotton, canola or dandelion honey. Certain factors such as temperature and water content also play an important role in honey solidification.
However, it is possible to reverse the process and return the honey to its liquid state.
Methods of liquefying honey
There are several methods of liquefying honey, most of them based on the use of heat. If proceeding in this way, it is recommended never to exceed 40°C, since beyond this temperature there is a risk of damaging the honey, which may lose its flavour and beneficial enzymes. For this reason, the technique of liquefying in the bain-marie is the simplest and most suitable approach. Simply heat some water in a large saucepan and remove it from the heat as soon as the very first small bubbles appear. Then place the crystallised honey in a waterproof container, preferably not made from plastic, and stir until it is entirely liquid. It is also possible to liquefy honey in a microwave. To do so, use your microwave’s defrost setting and check the honey every 30 seconds.
To prevent honey crystallising too quickly, it is recommended to store it in places with a temperature of between 21 and 27°C. Filtering honey to remove the particles which encourage crystallisation can also help to extend the length of time your honey remains in a liquid state.
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