Honey 101: Why Does Honey Crystallize?

By:  | | Honey, Product Guides

Whether you’re looking at a jar of raw Runamok honey or are just curious about the natural phenomenon, we’re here to help clear up the question of crystallization. 

The carbohydrates in honey (i.e. the natural sugars) are what cause crystallization. Almost all pure honey, particularly raw honey, is naturally going to crystallize over time. The amount of time it takes for crystallization to occur is dependent on things like the types of enzymes in the honey and fluctuations in temperature (for example, shipping from a Vermont winter to a balmy Florida). 

Is Crystallized Honey Bad? 

No, crystallized honey is not bad. In fact, crystallization in honey reflects not only the purity of the honey, but also that it is rich in many of the beneficial qualities that make it so tasty and healthy (pollen, propolis and the naturally occurring enzymes). So is it safe to eat crystallized honey? Yes! Absolutely! 

Why Aren’t Other Honeys Crystalizing? 

Many of the honeys on the market, even some that claim to be raw, are not actually pure honey. They have either been heated beyond pasteurization, adulterated with corn syrup, or they have been heavily filtered, removing many of the medicinal properties that raw honey is known for. 

Runamok raw honey is about as close as you can get to tasting honey straight from the hives. We lightly filter the honey to remove any bee parts (not kidding) and heat it only to temperatures (approx. 105ºF) that it would reach inside a hive- preserving all its natural properties. 

Why is my Honey Separating?

Separation is another naturally occurring phenomenon that is due to the varying carbohydrates in raw honey. Simply stir the honey and it will reconstitute, similar to separation in all natural peanut butter. 

How to Decrystallize Honey Safely

  1. Water Bath Method:
    Place your honey jar in a pot of warm water (not boiling) and heat gently. Stir occasionally until the crystals dissolve.
  2. Stove Method:
    Pour honey into a saucepan and warm on the lowest setting. Stir constantly until smooth.

Remember: Avoid using high heat as it can degrade honey’s natural enzymes and flavor!

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