Monday, October 17, 2011

Day #370 Pasteurization

Time for another tip from Blue Ridge Honey Company:

Why not to pasteurize honey?
Honey will deteriorate when exposed to heat. The higher the heat, the faster and greater the effect.
For example, honey has numerous enzymes. Most of these enzymes remain stable under 100ºF but have decreased activity when exposed to temperatures over 120ºF. For instance, the enzyme diatase, which is common in honey, shows a 50% reduction in activity after 15 days at 122ºF. Most enzymes in honey are almost completely destroyed when exposed to temperatures above 160ºF for even a short period. These enzymes are also destroyed when honey is liquified in a micro wave oven. An interesting side note is that most of the enzymes in honey are added by the bees.

Interestingly enough, they also tell us the reasons in favor of pasteurization:

Why pasteurize honey?
Honey contains yeasts. These yeasts are very different from the yeasts used in bread, vinegar and alcoholic beverages. They will cause fermentation in honey with a moisture content over 18% to 19%. These yeasts can be killed by heating honey to 160ºF for a short duration of time. The heating of honey to high temperatures will also cause a delay or slowing of granulation by the dissolving of small sugar crystals present in raw honey. These crystals can initiate the granulation process. The heating of honey also thins it so it can be finely filtered.

I added the bolding of that last sentence. Fine filtering, which many companies subject their honey to, removes a lot of the good elements in honey – little bits of pollen, little bits of wax, little bits of dead bees—protein, anyone?)

BEEattitude for Day # 370:
       Blessed are those who live in tune with nature, for they shall rise up with bounteous energy to see the sunrise.

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