Honey is made by bees by processing the nectar of flowering plants using an enzyme contained in their saliva. Because of its natural sweetness, honey is often used as a substitute for healthier sugars. The health benefits of honey also often make this yellow viscous liquid used as a cure for various health problems in beauty treatments. So, can honey expire? To find out more about the benefit of honey, you can visit our website and see the best manuka honey brand review.
When shopping for honey in the nearest supermarket or warung, you may notice that the honey packaging is listed as an expiration date. This then makes many people think honey can be stale. In fact, honey in its purest and natural form – without the addition of sugar or other ingredients – cannot be stale.
Pure honey is very high in sugar. In fact, 80% of honey contains natural sugar. This high sugar inhibits the growth of various types of microbes, such as bacteria and fungi. In addition, the water content in honey is very little which makes the texture very thick. This viscosity makes sugar cannot be fermented and oxygen is not easily dissolved into it. That way, microbes that cause rotten food cannot grow, let alone breed.
Honey also has an average pH of 3.9 which indicates that this sweet liquid is acidic. Bacteria that cause certain food contaminations such as C. diphtheriae, E.coli, Streptococcus, and Salmonella, cannot grow in acidic environments. It is this acidic nature that makes honey last a very long time.
Then, pure honey has a special enzyme called glucose oxidase which works to suppress bacterial growth. The enzyme is naturally contained in bee saliva which is then dissolved into nectar (plant extract) during the honey production period.
When honey is cooked, the chemical process that converts sugar to gluconic acid will produce a compound called hydrogen peroxide. This compound gives honey antibacterial and other antimicrobial properties such as polyphenols and flavonoids which help prevent the growth of rotten microorganisms.