Are you overwhelmed by the wide variety of honey in the store? Do you prefer dark or light, raw or organic? They just want honey that tastes like honey, so it’s easy to wonder why there are so many different types, and if they’re all produced by busy bees, why aren’t they the same?
Honey is divided into grades A, B, and C. Anything below grade C is considered inferior, while grade A is high quality. Classification is not determined by the nutritional value of honey, but by other factors such as clarity and taste.
Although there are no official regulations for grading honey, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published guidelines for grading honey based on a grading system that evaluates honey quality based on several factors. Would you like to learn more about honey sorting? Read on to learn what you need to know about the different types of honey.
Why Honey Ratings?
Honey is sorted and only high-quality honey makes it to the shelves of local supermarkets. Without the rating system guide mentioned above, you might find a variety of unpopular honeys for sale that may never have been listed.
Would you love to eat honey where real bees are found? Neither do I.
What Variety Is Best For Honey?
Like most school grading systems, getting an A for honey quality is the best possible grade for honey.
There are four levels of honey grading, each based on criteria for achieving expected honey quality results before the honey is used for any purpose, including commercial sale.
Here are the levels attainable and what each level means for honey:
Category A – Dark Amber Honey
Grade A honey is the finer honey grade of the four grades of the grading system, and is usually the only grade of honey you can find in commercial malls.
Amber honey may look more appealing than dark honey, but when it comes to premium honey, the darker the better.
Category B – Amber Honey
The second best honey on the market.
While Type B honey is safe to eat, you’ll most often find Type B honey in smaller local stores, such as health food stores, health food stores, fresh produce, and Sunday markets.
The honey you might see Winnie the Pooh eating from his beloved honey jar is grade B amber honey. There is a slight difference in quality between grades B and A, and some grade B honeys can make it into grade rich because the quality is high enough according to USDA guidelines.
Category C – Light Honey
While the quality of grade C honey is quite reasonable, it does not meet the consumer standards required for commercial sale, as the consistency, color and fermentation of the honey may not bring much or any profit, which is unwelcome to customers of.
Inferior Quality – White Honey
Anything below a C grade, akin to a school grade, is basically a failure. You won’t see low-quality honey on store shelves, in the market, in small stores, or anywhere, but in the trash.
Poor quality honey has too many flaws.
How Is Honey Grade Determined?
You might think honey is rated for its nutritional or nutritional value, but if you think so, you’d be wrong.
Honey is assessed on the basis of scores that meet certain non-nutrition-related requirements related to the appearance, taste and smell of honey.
How notes work:
- A honey is registered as a Grade A honey if the overall score for the honey is above 90.
- A honey is registered as a Category B honey if it scores at least 80 to 89 points.
- If the honey scores 70-79 points, it is registered as Category C honey.
- Any honey with a score below 70 is considered poor quality honey and not fit for sale or consumption.
To achieve these ratings, honey must pass a number of requirements or unofficial guidelines to receive an accurate and fair rating. The grading system consists of three grading components, namely clarity, taste and aroma, and absence of defects.
Learn more about each honey and how ratings are determined by:
The clarity of honey depends on whether it is clear, fairly clear or fairly clear. Clarity is graded based on the number of air bubbles, particles and crystals in the honey. The clearer the honey, the higher the score.
Grades A, B and C may contain air bubbles, but the presence of air bubbles does not affect the product.
Types A and B had the fewest blisters, while Type C generally had more blisters and visible pollen grains than Types A and B.
Clarity grades are also affected by honey turbidity, crystallinity and particle size.
The higher the score, the higher the grade, and the lower the score, the worse the grade. Any result below 4 would result in an inferior category where honey becomes useless.
Taste And Aroma
The taste and aroma grade of honey depends on its taste and smell. Again, this is based on good, reasonable, and fair evaluations, including possible chemicals, the floral source of the nectar, and the smoky flavor of the bees smoking, the fermentation process, and whether the honey was mixed.
Notes on flavor and aroma points
|Taste and aroma||Points earned||Grade|
|Reasonably good||40-44||Grade B|
|Fairly good||35-39||Grade C|
The better the mixture and aroma, the more points the honey will get.
Mixed honey is a combination of two or more honeys mixed into one batch. Most bulk honey jars used for commercial use are mixed honey.
In terms of honey and quality, blemishes can include comb granules, pollen grains, propolis from various plants and trees, and other blemishes that can get into the honey.
Other defects can also be parts of the bee, dirt and other particles not classified as pure honey.
|Absence of Imperfections||Points earned||Grade|
|Practically free||37-40||Grade A|
|Reasonably free||34-36||Grade B|
|Fairly free||31-33||Grade C|
Any score below 30 results in poor quality honey.
This is also called the moisture content, and this part of the grading process depends on the moisture content in the honey.
Like the color of honey, the moisture content is not based on a numerical score, but has its own system based on the percentage of water in the honey.
Both Grades A and B have a moisture content of no more than 18.6%, while Grade C is up to 20%. Anything over 20% is inferior.
Does The Color Of Honey Matter?
Honey color is not included in the honey grading system, but it still plays an important role. Once honey has acquired a specific category, familiar colors often accompany that category.
|Grade A||Dark Amber|
|Grade C||Light Amber|
|Substandard||Light or white|
Typical honey colors are:
- Watery white or transparent
- Super White
- Extra light amber
- Light amber
- Dark amber
The way to determine the color of honey is to measure it using Pfund scales.
What is a Pfund scale?
In short, a scale is a color chart from water white to dark amber used to compare and determine the color of honey.
Even If Color Matters, Does It Matter?
Although the color of honey is not part of the grading system, it is still a very important factor in attracting consumers and driving large farms to select the right honey for sale. If consumers were suddenly more interested in white honey because of its very subtle and light taste, we would see more white honey on the shelves than amber honey.
Did you know that the color and taste of honey can vary depending on where the bees get their nectar from? Different flowers contain different minerals, which add ingredients to the honey, resulting in different consistency and color.
Some of the plants from which bees get their nectar are only found in certain parts of the world, which means that while honey is produced in almost every country, certain types of honey are only found in certain countries.
For example, Manuka honey is only produced in New Zealand.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right honey color:
- Usually dark honeys have a rich and rich taste, while light honeys have a milder taste
- Blended honey is also made to have a more uniform color for mass production of high quality honey
- Blended honey can also come from multiple honey production locations
- Dark honey usually contains more antioxidants
- Honey is a good substitute for sugar
- Light honey for baking
Honey will change color over time, which doesn’t necessarily mean it has “soiled”, but you will find that it tastes different than when you originally bought it or tasted it.
After production, honey changes color depending on age and storage. Over time, you may find that your honey has solidified or crystallized. If you put it in a bowl of warm water to liquefy the honey until it’s smooth or sticky again, it’s usually still edible.
What Does Delicate Honey Mean?
You may have heard the term “first grade honey” and wondered what it means. Is it top honey like A grade honey? Or is it because its taste is more popular with consumers?
Also known as natural honey or raw honey, high-quality honey is considered “high-quality honey” because of its various nutritional benefits. Confusingly, premium honey is not grade A honey, but the more common grade B honey, as it is not as clear as grade A honey.
Natural honey is honey that does not contain added colorants or the addition of another honey to produce a specific color, artificial flavors, and synthetic compounds. Another reason they label it as their honey of choice is that it doesn’t go through a “pasteurization process” like other types of honey.
Natural honey still goes through a heating process, but the heating is mild compared to the heating that pasteurized honey goes through. Therefore, natural honey retains most of its nutrients, which is why it is labeled “Select Quality”, which has nothing to do with top-quality honey.
What Is Pasteurization?
The pasteurization process destroys most of the beneficial bacteria and minerals normally found in natural foods and beverages by destroying the extreme heating temperatures of sugar-tolerant yeast.
- Grade A honey is really just pasteurized to maintain its clarity and clarity.
- Grade A honey is not raw, natural or organic because it has undergone a pasteurization process
Types And Qualities Of Honey
Another confusing factor in choosing the right honey is the multitude of varieties that come with each new label. Forget color and consistency, what’s the difference between raw, natural, organic, and all the other labels you see on store-bought honey.
Here are the different types of honey you can find at your local store:
- Raw honey
- Organic honey
- Pure honey
- Acacia honey
- Buckwheat Honey
- Clover honey
- Wildflower Honey
OK, there are over 300 types of honey, so we won’t list them all, but you can check out this honey flower source guide for more types.
However, we will explain to you the differences in the types of honey you can buy:
Natural, Raw And Selected Honey – Grade B
These honeys are basically the same as they go through a similar process during the manufacturing stage and are completely unfiltered.
Raw honey is unpasteurized honey, which means it still contains limited nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and natural enzymes that are good for our insides.
Raw honey production is generally better for the environment.
Organic Honey – Grade B
Unfortunately, organic honey is difficult to determine if it is really organic. Organic generally means that no chemicals or pesticides are used in honey production.
Controlling an organic environment is no easy task, especially when the bay naturally collects pollen and nectar by collecting 100 different flowers within a 2-mile radius each day. This means that beekeepers must ensure that a 2-mile radius or more is completely free of chemicals and pesticides in order to be able to label their honey as organic.
Pure Honey – Grade B
This is 100% pure honey, i.e. no other substances are mixed with honey. No syrups, sweeteners or additives.
The taste of pure honey comes 100% from the flowers that bees have eaten and collected nectar from.
A good way to test if your “pure” honey is really pure is to put a teaspoon in a glass of water and see if it dissolves. If it dissolves like sugar, then you know it’s not pure honey.
Ordinary Honey – Grade A
Regular honey is the grade A pasteurized honey you can find in large supermarkets. It varies in color but is always transparent, filtered and free from defects and impurities. Unfortunately, this also means that regular honey is not the best honey for getting rid of colds.
The pasteurization process extends shelf life, and it’s also a cheaper option, making regular honey a popular honey for private labels and consumers.
Wildflowers And Mixed Honey – Types A And B
Wildflower honey is just that, honey made from the nectar of wildflowers.
A wide variety of mixed honeys and nectars are available in the market these days and are popular at market stalls.
Wildflower and mixed honeys may be classified as Type A and Type B honeys.
It’s undeniable that honey is confusing. Which honey you end up making or buying is entirely up to you and your preferred taste and method of honey making. Greener honeys are often far from A grade, but it’s best to check labels and do your research first.
While Type A may sound like your favorite honey due to color and flavor preferences, Type B may be more appealing to those who prefer to retain the nutritional and mineral benefits of honey for health reasons. Busy yourself like a bee now, good luck picking your favorite honey!