How to distinguish natural honey from counterfeiting when buying and at home
Falsifications of honey are widely used in the market. All their varieties are distinguished by the absence of many valuable nutrients (vitamins, mineral salts, organic acids, proteins and aromatic compounds) and can be dangerous to human health. To obtain an accurate answer about the quality of foodstuffs, it is necessary to contact specialized state laboratories or testing centers. There are also many folk methods that make it possible to distinguish between fake honey at home.
- Natural honey: signs of a quality product
- The rules for choosing and purchasing honey
- Methods for detecting fake honey at home
Natural honey: signs of a quality product
Before buying a honey of a particular variety, it is useful to read the detailed description of it in the directory or other specialized literature. Each species has certain qualities: appearance and color, aroma and taste, consistency.
Pure honey is always clear and uncomplicated. Its viscosity can be studied by lowering into the dishes a thin needle or stick, after which it will drag on a long thread, and after breaking, it will fall completely, forming a "turret" on the surface of the product. The fake will behave, rather, like glue, draining and dripping from a knitting needle, can even create splashes.
Natural honey can be distinguished by its density, which should correspond to the varietal characteristics. At a temperature of 20 ° C, a high-quality product, when wound on a spoon, winds like a ribbon with a long stripe and is interrupted at some point. Its structure is rather tender, when rubbed in the palm of your hand it absorbs into the skin.
Quality flower honey contains no more than 5% of sucrose, pade - not more than 10%. Increased quantities of it can be determined only within the walls of the laboratory. Some features of the appearance and properties of the product should alert the buyer and at a cursory examination, forcing to suspect a fake:
- the smell of stale cells;
- unexpressed, fresh taste;
- too liquid consistency for fresh honey or sticky, sticky and thick for long-stored product.
Warning: Honey expressed white may turn out to be sugar, dark brown - padeevym. Insufficiently developed aroma or flavor of caramel often means that the product is melted.
Honey, purchased in the winter, usually hardened. If the product retains plasticity in this season, most often this means that it is diluted or heated. There are varieties that do not shrink longer than others, but they are difficult to distinguish from forgery:
- May honey contains a large amount of fructose, therefore it is not sugared for a long time. This is the earliest variety, one of the most useful for human health, but it is often a forgery.
- Acacia honey also contains a significant proportion of fructose and water, so it can maintain plasticity up to 1-2 years.
- Greek honey is a great value, especially popular pine and thyme varieties. They thicken only half a year after collection, and under certain conditions can maintain a liquid consistency of up to 1.5 years.
- Chestnut honey is a viscous and dark variety, the shrinkage of which takes 6-12 months. With prolonged storage, it forms ever larger crystals, and also begins to separate.
The liquid consistency is characteristic for immature honey, which drains from the cutlery, without forming a stringy thread. It is pumped out in case of shortage of honeycomb, it is not full and biologically active, contains too much water and can not be stored for long. It quickly starts the fermentation process, because the product is not sufficiently enriched with sucrose and enzymes.
The rules for choosing and purchasing honey
To get honey it is desirable on a private apiary for beekeepers, whose quality of products is confirmed by acquaintances or known from personal experience. Buying a delicacy for the first time, it is better to limit the volume to 100-200 g to be able to quietly study it without serious financial waste.
Before buying honey, it is necessary to check whether the fermentation process has begun in it. It is easy to do by gently stirring it, while there should not be any particular viscosity, there is an active formation of foam and the appearance of gas bubbles, a burnt or spirits taste, an acid savor.
It is necessary to avoid buying honey collected in apiaries located in ecologically unfavorable terrain, along roads with an active traffic flow and an abundance of exhaust gases. The contact of lead compounds and other heavy metals in bee products adversely affects human health.
Important! You can buy honey only if the seller stores it in a glass, wooden, ceramic or porcelain container. The use of metal dishes is unacceptable.
Methods for detecting fake honey at home
A popular method of determining the quality of honey is the use of a chemical pencil. The product is layered on a finger, a paper or a spoon, the rod of the device is immersed inside or carried from above. It is believed that the forgery will remain a trace, which will indicate the presence of impurities of water, sugar. The method was studied by VG. Chudakov in 1972, and his studies clearly demonstrated the unreliability of the results.
The sample on blotting paper allows to accurately distinguish counterfeit products, however some natural samples also fall into their number. It is performed as follows: honey is put on a sheet of blotting paper in a small amount and is checked to see if a watery stain appeared on the back side. His education will almost always mean that the product is falsified.
There are also separate methods for detecting the presence of impurities in honey:
- The easiest way is to stir the spoon of the product in a transparent glass or jar with water. The impurity, if present, will settle at the bottom of the dishes, while the honey will dissolve without residue.
- Another method that makes it possible to distinguish a counterfeit is the lowering of the glowing stainless steel wire into the product. It will remain pure if the honey is real, and will be covered with an adhesive substance, if the sample is faked.
- Sugar or beet molasses in the product can be determined by combining a 5-10% aqueous solution of honey with a solution of lyapis (silver nitrate). The formation of a white precipitate will indicate that honey contains this impurity.
- Dilution of the product with sugar syrup is easy to see also by mixing 22.5 ml of methanol with 5 ml of a 20% aqueous solution of honey (prepared using distilled water). The loss of a large amount of a whitish-yellow precipitate will also mean that the treat is diluted.
- The presence of starch molasses can be determined by combining the product with water and alcohol (1 part of honey to 2-3 parts of distilled water and a quarter of the volume of 96% alcohol). The solution should be well shaken: if there are foreign compounds, it will take a shade of milk. If the liquid is allowed to settle, dextrin precipitates in the form of a sticky, transparent substance with a semi-liquid consistency.
- The lack of timely shrinkage of honey and its special stickiness also make it possible to recognize a fake. The solution of the qualitative product will remain as a result of the experiment uncomplicated.
- The admixture of flour or starch is easy to detect using iodine. Honey is diluted in water in a ratio of 1: 2, take 3-5 ml of the resulting solution and combine with 3-5 drops of iodine tincture or lugol solution. The appearance of a blue shade of liquid will indicate a fake.
- Determine the presence of inverted sugar in the product is not easy. For this purpose, 5 g of the sample is triturated with a small volume of ether, capable of dissolving the substances formed as a result of fructose degradation. The resulting solution is decanted into a bowl, evaporated and the dry residue combined with 2-3 drops of a fresh 1% resorcinol solution in saturated hydrochloric acid (specific gravity 1.125 g). The appearance of an orange or cherry hue indicates a positive reaction to the presence of the substance sought and the forgery of honey.
- Adding padem honey can be found as follows: connect the lime water and 50% aqueous solution of honey (in a ratio of 2 to 1), boil the composition. The formation of a precipitate in the form of brown flakes means a positive reaction to the presence of an impurity.
- The presence of chalk is easy to determine with the use of acetic essence, the aqueous solution of fake in this case zashipit with its addition.