What to do when honey crystallizes? Is it possible to melt crystallized honey? How to decrystallize honey? Below we have selected some facts for you that will simplify the answer to the question of why honey is sugared and how to melt crystallized honey.
Many in their household often consume honey; for breakfast we enjoy a slice of warm bread spread with butter and honey. However, the taste and texture of honey can often change, so we wonder how to liquefy crystallized honey.
Honey is not a perishable food and can be used without a time limit, unlike most foods that have an expiration date. If honey is sugared, know that it is natural and has no artificial additives.
- Before you learn how to melt crystallized honey, you must also know that honey above 40 degrees Celsius loses its medicinal properties and quality.
- If the purchased honey does not crystallize, it is the first sign of a low-quality or completely counterfeit product.
What is the Process of Honey Crystallization?
The answer to the crystallization of honey is its chemical composition because it is a solution with many sugars dissolved in a small amount of water. We are talking about 80% sugar in only 18% water. Of course, this is not artificial and harmful sugar. The rate of crystal formation depends on certain factors. Some of them are storage time, container type, and environment temperature.
For instance, plastic containers allow water to escape from the honey and this accelerates crystallization. In addition, storage at 14 degrees Celsius favors the formation of crystals. Above 25 degrees Celsius, honey remains in a liquid state for a long time.
Sudden movement of the container or the presence of foreign particles in the honey also creates crystals. The faster the crystallization, the creamier the texture of the honey.
After honey crystallizes in a solid state, it can be stored for a long time without changing its medicinal properties.
Important! It is forbidden to heat honey in a plastic container, in a way that the container is exposed to temperature because the plastic components will contaminate the product with harmful toxins. Thus it is advised to pour from such containers into the glass ones and only then proceed to decrystallize honey.
Many factors influence the acceleration of the honey crystallization process:
- Temperature-storing honey at low temperatures accelerates the crystallization of honey,
- Moisture-with a decrease in the moisture content of the product, the natural balance of honey is disturbed, which accelerates crystallization,
- Purity-if the bee product is saturated with pollen, wax residues or other bee products, the sugar activity increases. Small grains then appear around which crystals are formed.
But be aware that honey will crystallize even though it is stored in the most optimal conditions. It will only happen a little slower.
How to Melt Crystallized Honey in a Glass Container?
Crystallized honey can be reconstituted from a solid state to a liquid state if a container with crystallized honey is placed in hot water. This is the most well-known method of how to decrystallize honey.
Find out how to melt crystallized honey in this way below.
Place the jar of honey in a bowl of cold water. The water level should be at the same level as the honey level in the jar. It is advised to put a cloth or gauze in the water under the jar so that the jar does not have direct contact with the container in which the honey is being melted. This will also protect the jar from the sharp influence of the heating point of the container. Otherwise, the jar may break, in which case the honey becomes unsuitable for consumption.
Next, put the container on the stove and turn it on and heat until the water boils. Then remove from the plate and leave the jar in hot water so that the honey melts a little.
Mix occasionally by turning the jar upside down. You should not be aggressive with this method because vitamins and other substances are destroyed by an aggressive effect on the structure of honey.
Did you know? Honey is one of the oldest food products. It was first collected in the Stone Age, about 15 thousand years ago.
How to Liquefy Honey Using the Sun and a Radiator?
Heating in the sun or next to a radiator is a gentler way of reconstituting honey from its crystallized state to its liquid state.
Simply place the jar of crystallized honey next to the window that is most exposed to the sun and wait for the sun’s warmth to do its work. You can do the same by placing the jar next to another heat source such as a room radiator or a heater. In this case, you can place the jar directly on the radiator and it would be good to cover it with a cloth.
Based on the intensity of the heat, it depends how long it will take for the honey to reconstitute to its liquid state. Even with this method, it is necessary to occasionally shake the jar and turn it to the other side.
Did you know? There are about 3 thousand types of honey known in the world; bees can collect it from almost any flower culture.
How to Make Honey Liquid Again Using Lemons?
Decrystallization of honey using lemons is an effective and safe way to reconstitute honey to a liquid state, but it will take several days. For this method you need to get a large lemon, carefully peel it and cut it into slices. Then the lemon slices should be put in the honey, all together in one container.
Under the influence of vitamin C, which is released from the lemon, there will be a start of slow chemical melting of the crystals. This option is the most desirable and safest, but it also has its drawbacks.
Lemon will saturate the sweet product with acidity, which can often be felt in the taste. In addition, as soon as the melting occurs, the slices will settle to the bottom, after which it will be quite difficult to remove them.
How to Decrystallize Honey with a Decrystallizer?
This is a special device designed from heating honey. Beekeepers buy this device in order to always have liquid honey on hand. Liquid honey looks much more attractive and it is much more convenient to pour it. The device works on the principle of controlled heating of honey with a heater located in the decrystallizer, and thus honey reconstitutes from a solid state to a liquid state. The device is equipped with a sensor that signals the end of the decrystallization process. If you ignore this signal and continue to heat the product, the medicinal properties of honey will begin to be destroyed.
Is it Possible to Heat Honey in a Microwave?
The easiest way to melt crystallized honey is by using a microwave oven. Simply place a jar of honey in the microwave and heat at least thirty seconds to a minute on medium.
The only downside to this quick and easy solution is that after a while the honey will probably re-crystallize once it has cooled completely. But then you can repeat this quick process again.
Decrystalllization is carried out at low power, no higher than 600W for 2-3 minutes. After that, the hot product must be thoroughly mixed in order to obtain uniformity, because the microwave affects only certain layers of the liquid. As soon as the mass reaches homogeneity, it is poured into a container with a lid.
Of course, there is a disagreement among experts on this method as some of them believe that it is harmful to one’s health.
Is It Possible to Store Honey in a Plastic Container?
Recently, plastic has become a part of the everyday life of modern people. Honey can be stored in plastic for a maximum of one year, as it is biologically an active product. It it remains in such a container for a long time, it can absorb chemical impurities present in plastic containers.
When does Honey Lose its Medicinal Properties?
At temperatures of 40 °C and above, honey loses its medicinal properties, so be careful not to use it in tea that is too hot. Also, do not use a metal spoon for honey because organic acids and metals may react together, which is harmful to health and destroys the vitamins in the product. Rather use wooden, porcelain, or a plastic spoon.
How Can You Slow Down the Crystallization of Honey?
Storing honey correctly can make a big difference in how quickly it crystallizes. At low temperatures, honey will crystallize faster, so it is not recommended to keep honey in the refrigerator.
Properly stored in a sealed container, honey has a shelf life that is far longer than any other food. However, high temperatures can cause honey to break down, so hotter is definitely not better.
For these reasons, to slow down or avoid crystallization, it is always best to store honey at room temperature in a cupboard away from direct sunlight. Not only is it best for the honey, but it’s also the best way to keep it liquid.
If you want to avoid crystallization altogether, it’s best to simply eat your honey before it crystallizes! On average, honey will usually remain decrystallized for at least a few weeks and possibly months after you buy it.