While most food items tend to go bad over a period of time, honey is one such elixir that manages to stay edible throughout its indefinite shelf life. Honey has antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral properties that prevent the honey from going bad. These properties prevent any microbes or bacteria from growing inside honey, as a result of which the honey remains unharmed over longer periods of time.
Honey can even last for as long as 3000 years. In 2015, archaeologists discovered some 3000 year old honey pots in an Egyptian tomb. This honey, when discovered, was still in its edible form, ready to be consumed.This acts as a testament to the fact that honey when stored properly can last for thousands of years.
To make the most use of your honey, it is important to store honey in airtight containers. This prevents the honey from fermenting soon. In addition, the low moisture content of honey makes it difficult for any sort of bacteria to survive in it. Sometimes, the surrounding conditions can alter the composition of honey. So if you are planning on storing honey for longer periods of time, it’s best to store it in glass containers as metal or plastic containers can oxidise the honey. Also make sure you use a dry spoon to scoop out the honey as any moisture can make way for bacteria.
When honey is stored properly, keeping in mind everything mentioned above, your honey will stay safe to consume for longer periods of time. However, the composition and appearance of the honey may change after a while. Honey when stored for long tends to get darker in colour. It may even start to form a crystal-like structure, which is commonly known as crystallization.
But do not worry. This is a natural process and your honey still remains safe to consume. However, if these changes do not occur eventually, it may indicate that your honey has been highly processed. Most commercial brands do this to keep your honey looking attractive for a longer period of time.
WHY DOES HONEY HAVE AN EXPIRY DATE?
The Indian law makes it mandatory to mention the expiry and the best before date on the label of all packed food items. But rest assured, it is still safe to consume honey even after it has surpassed its expiry date.
At Honey All Day, we do not add an expiry date on our jars. Instead, we mention the best before date. It indicates that it is best to have honey until the mentioned date but even if you have a jar lying around that has surpassed the best before date, you can consume our honey without worrying about it going bad.
After the best before date, the texture, colour and aroma of the honey may vary but it remains safe to consume as we do not heat-process or pasteurise our honey. With its natural properties intact, our honey remains intact too for longer periods of time.