Food - Drink
The Scientific Reason Honey Crystallizes
By SYLVIA TOMCZAK
If you ever pick up a jar of raw honey from the farmer’s market and let it sit in your pantry for a few months, you’ll likely notice that the honey has crystallized. Smithsonian Magazine explains that honey can last indefinitely without going bad, due to its low moisture and high acidity, so if crystallization doesn’t mean spoilage, why does it occur?
Raw, natural, unadulterated honey is more prone to forming crystals than mass-produced bottles. Honey is a supersaturated solution of glucose and fructose, and when moisture evaporates from honey, excessive glucose separates from the solution and produces crystals, since there is no longer enough water to keep the sugars dissolved.
Trace amounts of pollen and beeswax can also encourage crystals to form in honey, but regardless, all raw honey will eventually crystallize. While crystals do not affect the quality of honey, they’re not always texturally pleasing, so if you want to turn your honey back into a flowing liquid, simply place the jar in warm water for 15 minutes.