10 Ways To Check The Purity Of Honey!

Often, the honey that we find in our grocery stores is not 100% pure and real. The bitter truth is adulterators have found way to cheat Indian and international testing mechanisms (like Agmark, Fiehe's test to name some). Store-bought honey is typically pasteurized, and also may have additives and preservatives in the product’s formula affecting its quality. This can often lead to a range of concerns such as health problems, allergies, and more. It is, therefore, always better to check the purity of honey to ensure you’re consuming a reliable and safe product.

Recently, many consumers have been wondering how to identify the purity of honey because they’ve learned that raw, organic honey has a range of benefits. Raw honey is known for:

  • Combatting free radicals in the body due to its high anti-oxidant content
  • Preventing mild infections due to the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
  • Combatting digestive issues by improving gut health
  • Boosting the immunity thanks to all the phytonutrients present in it
  • Soothing a sore throat
  • Healing wounds
  • Improving the texture and look of the skin
  • Improving the health of hair

These health benefits can be compromised when you have honey that is laced with chemicals, additives, preservatives, and more. Thus, to make sure that you aren’t placing your trust in the wrong brand or product, you must check the purity of honey.

Here are some simple ways to do so:

10 ways to check the purity of honey!

1. Is it runny or thick?

Pure honey is thick

One of the best ways to check the purity of honey is by dropping a small amount of it on your thumb. Pay special attention to the way the honey moves. If it drips down or spreads like water or any other liquid, then it may be impure.

The logic behind this is that pure honey is thick and syrupy, rather than runny. This is one of the easiest ways to check the purity of honey. However, in case you aren’t too sure about this, don’t worry because we have a few other easy tips for you to follow!

2. Does it dissolve in warm water?

How to know original natural honey

Another easy way to check the purity of honey is by adding a teaspoon of the product in a glass filled with warm water. You don’t have to swirl the honey with a spoon, but you can do so to speed up the process. Check whether the honey is dissolving in the water completely.

If it dissolves completely, it means that a sugar syrup has been added to the product. As a result, this is a strong indicator that the honey is not pure! On the other hand, if the honey travels straight to the bottom of the glass in a thick clump, it is pure.

Do note that sometimes, honey with additives can also perform like honey without additives during the water test. So, it’s best to employ at least one more test from this list to be 100% sure of the results when you check the purity of honey.

3. Is it flammable?

Honey as a flammable substance

Now, you’ve probably never thought of honey as a flammable substance, given that it’s so thick and wet. To check the purity of honey, you should dip a wick or a cotton pad in honey and then try to set it on fire (safely!).

If the cotton or the wick begins to burn, then the honey is pure and does not have added water. However, if it does not burn, then it probably has added water, and is, therefore, not completely pure or original.

4. Does it blot easily on a paper towel?

How to recognise real honey

Everyone has paper towels in their home, and here’s a chance to use them for more than just cleaning up. To check the purity of honey, you need to tear off a small square of a paper towel or thick napkin (let’s not waste!) and dribble a drop of honey onto it.

Impure honey will be absorbed almost completely by the paper towel. You may see nothing more than a wet stain after a while. Pure honey, on the other hand, is too thick to be absorbed so easily by a paper towel. You can recognise the originality of the honey if it’s more likely to sit thickly on the napkin or paper towel.

Do note that honey that has been adulterated by sugar syrup may have the same thick consistency as pure honey. As a result, honey products with such adulterants may not be absorbed by paper towels.

5. How does it react with vinegar?

Check the purity of honey

If you had a penchant for chemistry and fun experiments as a child, then you’ll like this test! To check the purity of honey, all you need to do is add some water, honey, and 2-3 drops of vinegar essence together in a bowl. If nothing happens, then it means that your honey is pure.

On the other hand, if your honey starts to foam up, that means it is adulterated. The foaming generally happens because the vinegar reacts with the additives in the honey, creating a reaction that tells you that there’s something wrong. 

6. How does it react to heat?

Check purity of honey

Here’s another very simple way to check the purity of honey. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of honey into a saucepan and set it over the stove on medium heat. As the honey heats up, you should see the color browning. Honey caramelizes very quickly when subjected to heat.

On the other hand, if you notice the honey bubbling or foaming even the slightest, then it means that the honey has been adulterated.

7. Does pure honey freeze in the fridge?

Freezing test to check the purity of honey

Many people use the freezing test to check the purity of honey. It is important to note that pure honey does crystallize very easily, which means that it can freeze in the fridge. When you take the honey out of the fridge, it will return to its normal consistency and can be used as you need.

Note that sometimes, impure honey will also freeze in the fridge, based on the preservatives that are used in it. This is why the freeze test should ideally be coupled with another test just so that you can make sure the honey you are consuming is truly pure.

8. What is the color of pure honey?

Pure honey is thick

When you want to check the purity of honey before buying it, you can have a look at the color of the product that you can see through the bottle. It is important to keep in mind that pure honey can range in color from light transparency to dark brown, and if the product is within that color range, it is pure.

On the other hand, if a brand is offering flavored honey that in a color other than brown, then it may have additives such as food coloring in it.

9. Do ants love it?

Ants love sweet things and if you’ve ever spilled a bit of sugar or chocolate, you know it doesn’t take a lot of time to attract them. If you want to check the purity of honey, note that both, pure and adulterated honey tend to attract ants. However, the difference in the two lies in how quickly the ants come calling.

When honey is adulterated with water, the fragrance of the product spreads faster, thereby attracting the ants at a quicker pace. On the other hand, the fragrance of unadulterated honey takes a longer time to dissipate, and the chances are that you’ll be able to clean up the mess before the ants even realize that there is a tasty treat waiting for them!

10. Does it expire?

Finally, here’s some great news for all you honey lovers out there! Pure honey is one of the only foods that does not expire. This means you can enjoy a jar of honey until it is completely finished. However, if you notice that your honey is started to smell or taste a bit off, then it might be an adulterated product.

Of course, this way to check the purity of honey requires exposure to the product over a long period of time. However, as you’ve read, some additives allow the adulterated product to perform the same way as honey during tests. This particular method can alert you to whether a brand is selling an adulterated product so that you can make better-informed decisions the next time!

At EiwaHoney, we only offer pure, unadulterated honey that is free from preservatives (and even free from human touch!). Have a look at our honey shop for more details!