Learn About The Use of Honey

Man has been using honey for more than one millennium (recall the surprisingly well-preserved drawing of a honey collector from a cave in Bicorp ( Spanish: Cuevas de la AraƱa) from the Late Paleolithic period) and knows a lot about it. However, some questions about this product remain. It is considered like any folk "medicine for everything", and even present in culture since ancient times, honey has grown over an incredible number of myths, rules, and regulations. Let's analyze the most widely known of them and find out how much they correspond to reality.

1. Honey should not be heated above 40 degrees

The temperature in the hive is kept at 34-35 ° C by the swarm because 37 ° C is already becoming critical for the brood. When honey is heated above this temperature, organic matter begins to break down in it. So, heating above 45 ° C leads to denaturation of diastase (amylase), up to 60 ° C and above - to the destruction of vitamins, enzymes, inhibin, glycoproteins, tannins, various peptides, and aromatic substances. However, one must understand that, for example, the presence of diastase in honey does not in any way affect its quality, and there are very few vitamins in it (more on that below).

2. Strong heating of honey turns it into poison

When heated in honey, 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF, HMF, oxy methyl furfural, OMF) is formed. There is an opinion that this compound is highly toxic, and therefore heating honey is not only unhelpful but also dangerous. Let's see how poisonous this substance is, and whether we risk poisoning by adding honey to hot tea.

Considering that HMF is an intermediate product of the breakdown of sugars in an acidic medium, which intensifies when heated, it is simply surprising why those who are so afraid of its presence in hot honey forget that HMF is found in any baked goods, jam, baked apples, etc. beets, roasted coffee and soda, and often in quantities dozens of times larger. Moreover, due to the acidic environment (pH 3.5), HMF also appears in fresh honey.

3. Honey is completely absorbed by the body

Since honey is primarily simple sugars (glucose, fructose, and maltose), it is instantly absorbed into the bloodstream, releasing a large amount of energy. Therefore, it is recommended to take it in case of exhaustion, after heavy physical and mental stress. The benefits of Manuka honey have all the properties to get absorbed in the body and do its magic. All this, however, does not apply to people suffering from various types of diabetes mellitus or fructose intolerance (see below for more on this).

4. Honey has no expiration date

Honey has been used for thousands of years as a preservative, as part of mummifying balms, meat, and fruits were stored in honey barrels. The preservative and antibacterial properties of honey are due to its high density - 1.45 g / cm³, the presence in its composition of inhibin, which decomposes glucose with the release of hydrogen peroxide, the presence of benzoic acid, phytoncides, potassium, and mineral salts. But such properties are possessed only by mature honey with a high density, especially dark varieties (this does not apply to honeydew honey at all: it quickly turns sour). So this is only partly true. And most importantly, "eternal" safety is guaranteed only under certain conditions: a closed container, no sunlight, humidity 58-66%, and temperature 5-10 degrees.

5. You should always choose honey with a higher diastase number

We are already accustomed to the fact that marketers are ready to stick on any food products "no GMO", "no cholesterol", "no gluten" - even where they are completely inappropriate - and honey sellers in this sense did not stand aside. At fairs, they often focus on the diastasis number, taking advantage of the ignorance of consumers (scientific terms really act on a person in some magical way). In reality, this indicator only reflects the origin of honey - whether it is artificial or not. Any number other than zero is an indicator of the naturalness of the product. And this is logical: diastase is an enzyme of the salivary glands of a bee, therefore, its complete absence in honey indicates that it was produced without their participation