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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Other things bother me more. What is sold as honey appears to be honey. Only it doesn't have pollen in it.

    What purpose does the pollen in honey serve? And why do we say that the pollen is in the honey if it is integral to what honey is. How can the both exist independently if they are so integral?

    No one is being fooled or lied to by a label which identifies the contents of a jar as HONEY. Honey syrup would be a product containing honey and some other sugar or sugarylike liquid such as corn or rice syrup.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    .....as is beeswax a natural component of honey but no one seems to be suggesting that it's presence is required to prove purity. If I blend a high percentage of corn syrup, or a similar adulterant, with raw honey containing natural pollen is the result a better product than a 100% honey that has had the pollen filtered out? Again, the whole issue of the presence of pollen in honey is that it is a marker proving the source of at least some percentage of that honey with no guarantee of purity. So once again the title of this thread is a misnomer, the absence of pollen proves nothing.
    Honey is produced from nectar and enzymes coming from somewhere inside the bees. Pollen gets into the honey via "messiness" by the bees but is not an integral part of the honey. Same with wax....it gets in through the extraction process..."messiness" by the beekeeper/processor, maybe a tiny bit of "messiness" by the bees.

    Absence of pollen makes it impossible to trace origin of honey but presence of pollen has its own issues in regard to identifying nectar sources. Many types of pollen grains look similar to each other and it requires very sophisticated microscopes to see the grains clearly and accurately identify them. Percentages of pollen grains may not relate to percentages of their related nectars in the honey. Add to this that there are only a few (two? three?) folks in the US that are qualified to do pollen analysis in honey.

    We had a very illuminating presentation from Dr. Paul Arnold on this topic at the Leominster treatment-free conference last year.

    The worst aspect about the filtering is the heat used to make the honey manageable. So I would argue that while honey with 100% of pollen filtered out may still technically be honey, it has lost its inherent character and as Sergey says, is just a syrup at that point. That said, raw, unheated honey with pollen, cut with adulterants, is just as bad if the consumer is not informed that that is what they are buying.

    Before I knew anything about beekeeping and honey, I assumed that honey came straight from flowers and bees without the use of artificial feeds, chemical treatments or antibiotics. My first class at bee school changed that assumption right away. Heating, filtering and adulteration were not on my radar either. Later I learned more about the honey industry. I am not an ignorant person, I was just completely uninformed as to how bees are managed and how the honey industry works. I'm still learning. I don't see our customers/potential customers as any different. They all appreciate information, at different levels. To some, every last detail of management/production/sourcing is extremely important in their decision making as to what to purchase and ingest. At the other extreme, they just want something sweet that appears to be a healthier/more delicious choice than other sweeteners. Most fall in a spectrum between these two. But they can't know where they are on that spectrum if they are not informed that there are choices.

    I also agree with Sergey as to labeling. Clear statements as to source, processing (temperatures, filtration, etc.) and hive management allow consumers to make choices and begin/add to their own education process.

    Back to the spectrum - of course there are those who don't care at all and will just buy the cheapest thing. But there are many, many more who if given knowledge and information realize that there IS a choice and are moving in a direction toward better quality, higher priced honey.

    Unfortunately, most honey produced is considered a commodity and is sold at commodity prices regardless of differences in quality. When quality and price are being determined by color (light vs. amber vs. dark) there is a problem. This needs to change and will over time as consumer awareness and demand shifts.

    We can all do our best to educate, produce the best products possible, be honest about our practices and make sure that if we are buying in honey from others that we know what we are getting/representing before putting our label on it.

    Ramona

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    I hear you mark
    its kinda like buying hamburger from the local meat market as 100% beef and realizing 20% of it is soy meal water and colouring agents

    consumers assume pollen is in the honey they buy. Little do they know the cheap stuff likely has other syrup blends in it also
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Ian, we found honey on the shelf of a reputable health food store from a local organic farm at $11/lb that had 30% beet sugar. That's not the cheap stuff from the dollar store.

    Deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    was it circumvented Chinese honey also? lol
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Honey sold in stores has been pasteuized (heated at a high temp.) to keep it from crystallizing, if it crystallizes on the shelf they can't sell it.Retailers are selling honey that have all the goodies cooked out of it. I sell my honey as raw honey, strained once and bottled with a label on the jar telling that raw honey will crystillize and how to turn it back by not heating it over 120 F. My customers say they will never buy honey out of the store again if they can find raw honey, that there is no comparison between to two in taste. The biggest lie i see on lables is the Pure Clover honey lable, you would have to live on an island in the middle of the ocean with nothing growing but clover for this to be true. JMHO.

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    was it circumvented Chinese honey also? lol
    It wasn't supposed to be...but who knows. It came from a migratory operation.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  8. #68
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    Martin, Tn
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    At risk of opening another can of worms, is milk really milk then? Even raw milk has had the cream taken off the top. The milk you buy in the store has been heated, strained, fortified, etc etc but it still came from a cow. I agree that when you add things like corn syrup it isn't 100 percent honey but if you just heat it and strain it, though it will have less nutrition it is still honey because the only way to get it is from bees. As brooksbeefarm mentioned, anyone who buys honey from me says its the best they ever tasted. Most of my customers are just people i know and most have only ever had honey from the store. I let my customers taste buds be the judge, if they have never had honey straight from hive to bottle then i let them try it, they always come back for more.
    Jason Young

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Our new honey standard considers honey without pollen still honey. It concentrates more on adulterated honey, i.e., HFCS, medications, etc. and on erroneous claims of the nectar source (the honey must contain 51% of the claimed nectar source). It does allow that if you don't know the nectar source, you can call it "wildflower honey" and of course it considers honeydew as a legitimate part of honey. One cannot prevent the girls from collecting it if it is there nor does honeydew does not have any deleterious properties.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Unless you have a expensive processing facility and ultra filter honey, your honey will have pollen in it. THAT is honey
    the consumer THINKS they are buying. If pollen is removed it MUST state that on the container. Why do people buy honey?
    People buy honey instead of sugar or karo syrup because they think it is a natural & wholesome food. We may reach a tipping point were it is not worth the bother and expense to buy honey because it will be just another over processed "food".
    Maybe it will be required, like for the milk producers, for honey to be processed before it is sold to the public. Is this where we are going? So the big importer/packers get to call the shots and make the rules, so the market can be flooded with imported honey and drive the price down for US beekeepers?, and exclude the smaller scale producer from the market unless they sell to the big packers?
    It's a race to the bottom. I even heard a beekeeper in favor of the big packers processing methods, actually complain that the the price of honey was getting too high.... BTW, there already is a definition for honey, the International Codex.
    -Pat

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm View Post
    Honey sold in stores has been pasteuized (heated at a high temp.) to keep it from crystallizing, if it crystallizes on the shelf they can't sell it.Retailers are selling honey that have all the goodies cooked out of it...
    Therefore I'm very skeptical about local standards similar to the NC Standard, that Tia mentioned in the post #31, because formally (according to some standards) you still can call/name a liquid (forever) substance as Honey.
    Nevertheless, in my opinion, if honey was heated to avoid crystallization - it is not honey any more.

    Therefore , even this statement: "Honey shall not be heated or processed to such an extent that its essential composition is changed or its quality is impaired." ( from Standard of Identity – Honey OHIO DRAFT PROPOSAL
    http://tristatebeekeepers.com/node/157)
    is not completely perfect to avoid some manipulation with honey...

    Useful links:
    "Honey Composition"
    "...Diastase and invertase play an important role for judging of honey quality and are used as indicators of honey freshness. A minimum value of 10 diastase units is set in the Codex Alimentarius and the European honey directive. Their activity decay upon storage and heating of honey..."
    http://fantastic-flavour.com/yahoo_s...y.20105942.pdf

    "Studies on the physicochemical characteristics of heated honey, honey mixed with ghee and their food consumption pattern by rats"
    "The study has shown that heating of honey reduces the specific gravity with a subsequent raise in ash value, pH, HMF, browning, phenolics and antioxidant activity..."
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215355/

    Boris Romanov
    Last edited by Boris; 02-06-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    People I know who buy honey by the barrel identify the variety of honey by color and taste, not by pollen analysis. Who here does differently?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    People I know who buy honey by the barrel identify the variety of honey by color and taste, not by pollen analysis. -sqkcrk
    I second that. Doing pollen analyses on honey would eat up any and all profits from that honey pretty quickly, I think.

    we found honey on the shelf of a reputable health food store from a local organic farm at $11/lb that had 30% beet sugar. -deknow
    I suppose the easy way to determine presence of some of these other sugars is by measuring levels of glucose and fructose, although I will confess that I do not know what sorts of values might indicate differing sorts of sugar syrups.

    I am curious to know 1) what, precisely, is "beet sugar," and 2) (assuming it is sucrose refined from sugar beets) how such refined sugar is differentiated from "cane sugar" or other sources of sucrose?

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Pulp is a natural component of orange juice. is orange juice without pulp something other than pure orange juice?
    Pulp basically is broken cells. it is a shell, container to hold a juice. It has high cellulose/fiber content and therefore considered to be beneficial for us. It is "addition" to the juice, which appeared to be beneficial. Also, note - it is always stated on juice packaging if it contains the pulp.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by jayoung21 View Post
    At risk of opening another can of worms, is milk really milk then? Even raw milk has had the cream taken off the top. The milk you buy in the store has been heated, strained, fortified, etc etc but it still came from a cow...
    With milk, it is stated on the package: 2% fat in the milk, whole milk, vitamin D added. It also stated if milk pasteurized etc. The point is that label should clearly explain what is in the container. By the way - I like "whole honey"!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    By the way - I like "whole honey"!
    Is that the honey with the bee legs and all Ha ha
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Is that the honey with the bee legs and all Ha ha
    No, for legs I have "100-and-2% organic honey"
    Серёжа, Sergey

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    .... consumers assume pollen is in the honey they buy. Little do they know the cheap stuff likely has other syrup blends in it also
    I think, assumption would be that any alteration of honey made it more expensive (more work to do), thus, cheaper honey should be less "purified" and, yes, contains the pollen and other "ingredients". They may also assume that the honey meant 100% honey, which as we see, is not always true.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    People I know who buy honey by the barrel identify the variety of honey by color and taste, not by pollen analysis. Who here does differently?
    How you could do pollen analysis if it is filtered out? Non-sense.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Tests Show Most Store Honey Isnít Honey

    How you could do pollen analysis if it is filtered out? Non-sense. -cerezha
    I believe sqkcrk is selling honey with pollen in it. That is, I doubt he is filtering out all of the pollen in his honey. The folks that buy his honey buy it based on color and taste. They could analyze the pollen in that honey. But they buy based on color and taste, not pollen analysis.

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