Raw honey is unheated. Raw honey is not heated above 35°C, which is the temperature bees keep the hive at. Processed honey is pasteurized by heating to 60°C-80°C for anywhere between 1 to 30 minutes. This prevents honey from crystallizing as it melts small glucose crystals and removes any air bubbles present, which act as “seeds” for crystallization. Pasteurization also destroys any naturally present bacteria and yeast, which can cause fermentation, thereby increasing the shelf life of processed honey. However, pasteurization also destroys the vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and enzymes contained in raw honey which are responsible for its health benefits.
Raw honey is unfiltered. Our raw honey is only coarsely filtered to remove large pieces of wax, comb and bees. Processed honey is ultra-filtered to remove almost all pollen. This results in almost clear honey with little tendency to crystallize, since small grains of pollen also provide “seeds” for crystals to form. However, pollen is a natural superfood with many health benefits and these are removed when honey is filtered.
The flavour, aroma and texture of raw honey varies according to its nectar sources. Processed honey is typically a blend of EU and non-EU sources to produce a consistent, homogeneous taste. Raw honey is not blended to obtain flavours and its taste and consistency depends on the nectar sources available at the time of harvest. Raw honey may be smooth, grainy or chunky. It may even separate over time as crystallized honey settles below still liquid honey.
The appearance of each jar of raw honey may vary. Raw honey is a natural product much like olive oil and each jar may appear different. Some jars may display signs of frosting, when tiny air bubbles in honey become trapped against the sides of jars, causing crystals to form. Some jars can contain honey foam, which occurs when the small air bubbles in honey rise to the top of the honey. Frosting and honey foam do not impact the taste or quality of the honey and are a normal occurrence with raw honey.
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