Does honey have an expiration date?
Sometimes we discard certain foods when we see that the expiration date indicated on the package has arrived. But have these products really expired?
Very few foods are immune to the passage of time, which do not have an expiration date. Among them we find salt, sugar, rice and of course honey. But eating raw rice or salt is not comparable to the taste of honey, edible as it comes from the hive.
In the case of honey, the preferred date of consumption must appear on the packaging. They are long expiration dates, because the risk to health is low, but it is true that over time organoleptic and physicochemical changes may occur (acidity, humidity …) so it is mandatory to indicate a preferred consumption date.
As a general rule, the preferred consumption date that we find on the honey jars we buy is two years from the moment of manufacture. After these years, honey can continue to be consumed as long as it has been kept in good condition.
Why does honey have no expiration date
The eternal life of honey is based on several factors:
- Honey is hygroscopic.
That means that honey has a very low water content. The bees are responsible for dehydrating the collected liquid nectar with 80-90% initial humidity to turn it into thick honey. Ripe honey barely reaches 18% humidity.
Without water, bacteria cannot appear or thrive. A properly matured honey in a hive or in a closed pot is safe from bacteria.
- High concentration of sugars.
Honey is mainly made up of sugars, and this hinders the growth of microorganisms due to problems with the high osmolarity of honey.
- The acid pH of honey.
The pH of honey is acidic and ranges between 2 and 4.5. Most harmful bacteria prefer a neutral or basic environment, so in an acidic environment such as honey, they cannot grow or develop.
- Honey enzymes.
Bees, in the process of making honey, provide different enzymes of their own. One of them is glucose oxidase, which produces hydrogen peroxide, a powerful antimicrobial that prevents microorganisms from growing.
- Antimicrobial compounds.
Honey contains organic acids, phenolic compounds and certain peptides that contribute to the antimicrobial action of honey, preventing it from growing and spoiling the honey.
For all this, we can say that honey does not expire, only if it is not preserved in the correct conditions. If honey is kept in optimal conditions, its shelf life can be very long.
All the honey that you will find in Maes Honey complies with current legislation and is properly packaged so that it preserves all its properties.
How to keep honey in good condition
In order to continue consuming honey after the best before date, it will be enough to keep the honey container tightly closed and not expose it to very high temperatures, nor very low temperatures.
It is not necessary to put the honey in the fridge, it will be enough to store it in a dark cupboard or pantry, away from heat sources. The ideal is a room temperature between 18 and 27 degrees Celsius.