Why honey is candied: how quickly a natural fresh product crystallizes

Why honey is candied: how quickly a natural fresh product crystallizes

Crystallization of honey is a completely natural process if the manufacture and storage of the product took place without violations. A pure product in combs, which is stored at a temperature of +20-30 degrees, always retains a liquid consistency. After pumping out the product, it will sooner or later begin to crystallize. So why exactly is honey candied?

How quickly natural honey candied

The timing of sugaring real honey depends on many factors. Among them, it is worth highlighting its maturity, the amount of sugar and moisture, storage conditions. Of great importance is the variety of bee nectar.It depends on the variety of honey plant from which the bees received pollen. This affects the amount of water, fructose, glucose and other components.

If the honey thickens quickly, do not think that this is a low-quality product. These varieties include the following:

  • buckwheat - crystallizes within a month;
  • sunflower - candied in 2 weeks;
  • melilot - crystallization takes 1-3 months, resulting in a white mass;
  • alfalfa - a quality product hardens in 20-30 days;
  • rapeseed - hardens the fastest, and this happens literally in 3-4 days.

At the same time, there are many varieties that take a long time to be candied:

  • acacia - can stay liquid for 2 years;
  • May - the crystallization period takes 4-6 months;
  • chestnut - remains liquid for almost 1.5 years;
  • cherry - stays fluid up to 6 months.

Crystallization does not always indicate the quality of the product, as it is influenced by many factors. For example, nectar made from sunflower pollen becomes solid in 2-4 weeks. At the same time, the mass in the combs is not candied for up to 1 year. A more precise period depends on the type of nectar, the amount of water and storage conditions.

Reason for process

The crystallization of the new season's bee nectar is a natural process that sooner or later affects honey of any variety. This happens even when storing the mass in compliance with all the rules.

Natural nectar contains the following ingredients:

  • sugar - fructose and glucose account for approximately 80%;
  • water - approximately 18%;
  • vitamins;
  • micro and macro elements;
  • proteins - approximately 2%.

Basically, honey is water with dissolved sugars. At the same time, the composition is so saturated that this necessarily leads to its sugaring. The process begins with the formation of individual grains from glucose. At first, she sits at the bottom of the tank. After some time, the size and number of crystals increase. Then they are distributed throughout the container. Fructose remains liquid and evenly distributed around the grains.

Myths about crystallization

Many people prefer liquid mass. She looks more attractive. There is a way that slows down the crystallization process. Zero temperature will help maintain a liquid consistency.Useful nectar is stored in such conditions for 5 weeks. Then the temperature increases to +14-15 degrees. This helps delay the crystallization process by a year.

Some people believe that if honey is candied, then it has lost many valuable elements.

But that's not true. Solidification is the physical process of transition from one state to another. The composition of the mass remains the same.

The simple saccharides that are present in the product are considered excellent preservatives. They contain vitamins and minerals. Individual varieties, which are distinguished by a dense texture, can be stored for hundreds of years without losing their nutritional properties. Therefore, liquid and candied types of honey are considered equally useful.

Why doesn't honey crystallize?

Slowdown of the crystallization process may be due to the influence of a number of factors. These include violation of storage conditions, insufficient maturity of the product, overheating.

Unripe honey

After harvesting, honey needs to ripen. At this time, its fermentation takes place. This process is accompanied by the breakdown of polysaccharides into simple carbohydrates, and the product loses excess moisture. This process takes more than 10 days. The bees seal the honeycomb with wax. The honey can then be consumed.

Inexperienced or unscrupulous beekeepers do not wait for the fermentation process to complete and pump out the product. Unripe honey contains too much water, which prevents sugaring. Incomplete fermentation provokes the development of fermentation processes.

Detecting unripe honey is fairly easy. To do this, you need to dial it into a spoon and look. Insufficiently ripened product will begin to drain completely. The presence of foam in the composition of the mass also indicates incomplete fermentation.

Incorrect storage

Violation of storage rules often leads to the fact that honey is not candied.The optimal temperature regime at which bee nectar retains its properties for a long time is +15 degrees. At the same time, a temperature range of + 6-20 degrees is possible. If the parameters exceed +20 degrees, the crystallization process slows down. Honey retains the consistency of a liquid longer and loses some of its valuable components - primarily vitamins.

At high humidity, the process also stops, since honey is considered a hygroscopic product. That is why it is so important to choose the right container for storing goodies. It is recommended to give preference to glass and ceramic containers with tight lids. You can also use enameled containers.

It is worth considering that you can not keep the mass in containers made of metal and plastic. A saturated solution will draw substances out of them. This will lead to a loss of taste of the bee product and fill it with harmful elements.


When heated, solid honey melts. At the same time, useful properties and valuable substances are preserved at a temperature that does not exceed +40 degrees. Unscrupulous beekeepers deliberately overheat the nectar. In this case, it will not crystallize.

To reveal an overheated composition, it is important to pay attention to the shade. It can be lighter or darker, but always has a brown color. It is important to bear in mind that for some varieties this color is natural. This, in particular, applies to buckwheat and chestnut varieties. In this case, you should pay attention to the smell. Overheating is indicated by the absence of a pronounced honey aroma.


The main reason for the lack of crystallization throughout the year is its falsification.To increase their profits, beekeepers can feed sugar syrup to the insects. It is most difficult to identify such an imitation, since it practically does not differ in composition from a natural product. It also contains fructose and glucose. However, if the bees were fed with syrup, the product will not contain enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

Candied honey is considered a natural process. It can take a different period of time - from several weeks to a couple of years. This depends on the variety of the bee product. However, there are a number of factors that slow down this process. This leads to a decrease in the usefulness of the product. That is why it is so important to be able to distinguish a quality product from a fake one.

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