Real Honey, Can It Be Expired?
Honey is a very versatile and delicious food ingredient, honey can be consumed directly or added to various types of food and drinks. Often because we feel that real honey can be stored for a long time, we do not consume it immediately or even store it in a hidden place. When we are going to consume it, we may wonder if the honey is not stale and is it safe to consume it after being stored for a period of time?
Can Honey Go Stale or Expired?
Real honey with original content will for a really long time if stored properly in a closed container and will not expire, even in centuries. There are several reasons that make honey as one of the eternal food ingredients, and free from expiration dates.
Honey is hygroscopic.
Honey is hygroscopic which means it has very low water content with very high sugar content. This sugar content absorbs liquid so that the moisture of honey is drastically reduced. The liquid nectar collected by bees has an initial humidity of 80-90% then the bees turn it into honey by drying it. Real honey only contains less than 18% moisture. With high sugar content and low moisture in honey, bacteria cannot grow or reproduce. Honey contamination can also be prevented by storing honey in an airtight container.
Honey is not a neutral liquid but it tends to be acidic with pH that ranges from 2 to 4.5. Most of the pathogenic or harmful bacterias prefer an environment that is neutral or tends to be alkaline, while in acidic environments such as honey, bacteria cannot grow or thrive.
Enzymes and Antimicrobial Substances.
Honey contains glucose oxidase enzymes which also releases hydrogen peroxide during the manufacturing process. This compound is a strong antimicrobial compound that can prevent the growth of microorganisms including bacteria in honey.
In addition, honey contains organic acids, phenolic compounds and certain peptides that also contribute as antimicrobials, preventing them from growing and damaging the honey.
How to Keep Honey in Its Best Condition
If you want to consume honey in its best condition and get all of its benefits, make sure you keep the honey container tightly closed and neither store it nor cook it at very high, or very low temperatures.
Honey does not need to be refrigerated, just stored in the kitchen cabinet or in a dark place, and away from heat sources. We recommend you store the honey at room temperature and not more than 27 degrees and not less than 8 degrees Celsius. Real honey from Madurasa does not contain water or other mixture so that the quality of honey will be maintained for a very long time.