Fake honey is “honey” that has been added glucose, dextrose, molasses, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, corn syrup, starch, or other similar products in a factory production adulterated process.
Producers of fake or fraudulent honey add these to pure honey to increase their product volume at lower prices to the market at the health cost of consumers and at prices lower than the production costs of the individual beekeeper. This practise is threatening the sustainability and growth of the local natural pure raw honey industry.
Unfortunately fake fraudulent honey makes its way to the shelves of many trusted retail outlets. Adding to the problem, retailers in general are clearly not supportive and promoting compliance with the food labelling regulations by selling honey that is not complying with legislation. For example, most labels do not indicate countries of origin or meet the legal design layout requirements or provide a clear indication of the type of the honey supplied.
This make it almost impossible for the consumer to understand what they are purchasing as it is in most cases difficult to identify fake, fraudulent and adulterated honey.
There are however some easy ways that can be used to consider when determining if the product is real or fake.
1. If the honey looks like syrup the chance is great then that the honey is probably mixed with high levels of cane sugar or even sugar syrup itself. Pure raw honey tends to be of a darker colour than fake honey.
2. Look at the price. If the price is too good to be true, the possibility is high that it is not true honey for the good money the consumer is paying with. Honey that is sold at prices that are barely covering the production cost of the individual beekeeper is just too good to be true.
3. Pure honey has a distinguished mild smell that originates from the flowers the nectar was collected from by the honey bees. This smell might change after time if it has been exposed to heating and cooling several times over a period. Fake honey has no smell or sometimes a sour smell due to the fermentation of items added to the honey.
4. Pure honey is thick and flows slow while fake honey is light and runny. Pure honey is not sticky when you do a finger test by rubbing the pure honey between your fingers while fake honey is sticky due to sweeteners added into it. You can also put a small drop of honey on a finger. If it spills or spreads, it is not pure honey. Pure honey will not flow but will stay intact on the finger.
5. Pure honey doesn’t get dissolved in water and for example, when a teaspoon of honey is put into a glass of water, it will lump, settle at the bottom and will only get diluted when it is stirred for a while. Fake honey dissolves in water almost immediately due to its high sugar content.
6. When you taste the honey, the taste of pure raw honey can be expected to vanishes quickly where the added sugar content of the fake honey causes the taste to remain a little longer on the palate.
Remember the saying – if it stands and drips like a tap, it is a tap. There is no point and value in spending good money on fake honey. If you want to enjoy the health benefits from honey as backed by science and traditional usage over ages, you should use real pure raw honey produced in nature by the honey bee from flower nectar.