How to Tell if Honey is Bad (14 Home Done Tests)

The new food law requires that we find complete information on the label of food products about their origin, composition and shelf life. First of all, honey cannot be sold on the streets. The beekeeper often opens the cap of the jar to give you a taste of the honey, during which time it is polluted by air, causing pathogenic cocci, mold spores, tetanus spores (if there are horse feces around), salmonella, cars and proteus bacteria that are transmitted by flies. Buy honey from an ecologically clean area. Under no circumstances buy imported honey.

The beekeeper is obliged to show you a certificate from the testing laboratory with a specified diastasis number (number of active enzymes). If they are under 17, the honey is of poor quality. If they offer you honey with a diastasis number of 50 (the largest possible number of enzymes), be sure that they want to sell you counterfeit goods.

Page Contents

How to check the Honey quality at Home

Honey is nectar and honeydew. Nectar honey is derived from plant nectar and contains not only sugars unlike glucose (a commonly used counterfeit), but also vitamins, pigments, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, organic acids, aromatic substances, mineral salts, enzymes and amino acids,

1. PH-value check

Real honey has an acidic PH-value. So by pouring 1 drop of honey on litmus paper, you can easily determine its fidelity.

2. Honeydew Honey

Honeydew honey is a product obtained from the excretions of sucking insects (aphids, etc.) and from the secretions of some woody and other plants (oak, linden, willow, pine, etc.). It has an oily green, dark brown to black color. They falsify it with a decoction of oak bark, to which they add fructose and lard. The obtained counterfeit is corrected in terms of its electrical conductivity, aiming at compliance with the original. It contains algae and spores of molds, yeasts, wax and chitin particles, parts of bees, pollen, etc., which are easily detected under a microscope.181 identified substances have been found in honey, which provides ample opportunities for analytical chemistry to detect counterfeits.

3. Liquid Honey

Do not necessarily look for non-crystallized honey. Liquid honey in stores in most cases is not pure or has been heated for liquefaction, so it no longer has healing properties.

4. The Aroma

The aroma of honey depends on the plants from which it originates. It is strongest in the types of honey obtained from essential oil crops. The aroma is imparted by aldehydes and ketones, alcohols and esters. Honey with a faint aroma or an unusual odor (of beets, pumpkin, etc.) is most likely a counterfeit.

5. Unknown Beekeepers

Do not buy a large amount of honey from unknown beekeepers. Try honey not only from the top of the dish but also from the bottom.

How to check the quality of the honey we bought?

6. The Consistency

The consistency of real honey is fine, tender: rubbed between the fingers, it easily absorbs into the skin, while in the case of forgery the structure is rough, and lumps often remain between the fingers.

7. Stir the Honey

Stir with a clean spoon into the jar of honey. Remove it by rotating it. The real honey is “rolled” on the spoon while the diluted one flows.

8. Bread in Honey

If we put a morsel of bread in honey, if it is of good quality, it will harden. If it has softened, then the honey contains sugar syrup.

9. Honey drop on paper

If we take a sheet of paper and drop fake honey on it, it will spread and seep into it.

10. Dissolve Honey

If we dissolve honey and drop a drop of iodine tincture, the bruising indicates the addition of starch to achieve the desired density.

11. Honey in water

If you mix honey in water 1: 2 and the solution is cloudy, pouring in different colors, means that starch, flour and even chalk have been added. If we drip a little vinegar and the solution foams and starts to foam, it is fake.

12. Hot Wire

If we take a hot wire and put it in honey if it is a fake, a sticky mass hangs around it, and if it is not, the wire stays clean.

13. Homogeneous mass

Honey is ripe when in the jar it is a homogeneous mass in which no darker zone stands out in its lower part.

14. Silver Nitrate

If we add silver nitrate to a 10% aqueous solution of honey and a white precipitate appears at the bottom – sugar is added to the honey.

What honey to choose?

There are over 100 types of monofloral honey in Europe, but 15 of them are basic and are commercial products for which reference models and profiles have been developed. While the reference tables include all the indicators studied, the reference profiles include the discriminant indicators: color, electrical conductivity, optical activity, acidity, diastase activity and some sugars (glucose, fructose, glucose/fructose and glucose/water ratios).

The main types of honey are acacia, linden, sunflower, lavender, etc., but if we buy honey for treatment it is necessary to consult an apitherapist. The healing effect is enhanced if we combine the same type of honey and pollen.

What should we not forget?

Honey contains acids, which is why it should not be stored in metal containers (tins, etc.), because it oxidizes them, and this will not leave its biologically active ingredients and increases the number of heavy metals in it.

In the past, honey was stored in wooden barrels, but today we use glass (dark glass) and enameled containers and cans of special plastics. The ideal place to store honey are wax combs. There it retains its properties for centuries.

We often have to liquefy the crystallized honey. This is done in a water bath, but do not heat above 60 degrees, because the structure of honey disintegrates, changes color, the aroma disappears, vitamin C is destroyed in half and this liquefied honey has already lost much of its healing properties. A similar inactivation occurs in your tea if you add honey to boiling water.


Hey there, I'm Jan! Bees are my passion since I was a little kiddo. My grandpa always said that passing knowledge to new people is the most honorable and meaningful thing to do. So here I am, passing my knowledge to you. Protect the bee, respect the bee!

Recent Posts