Also known as
Shaed, Madh, Shahed
Honey is a sweet aliment produced by honey bees (and some other species) and derived from the nectar of flowers. Honey gets its sweetness from the mono saccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar (97% of the sweetness of sucrose, a disaccharide) Honey has attractive chemical properties for baking, and a distinctive flavor which leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners. Generally, honey is classified by the floral source of the nectar from which it was made. Honeys can be from specific types of flower nectars, from indeterminate origin, or can be blended after collection. Cooking with honey gives a never-ending list of possibilities and recipes due to the many practical functions honey could serve.
Pasteurized honey is honey that has been heated in a pasteurization process. Pasteurization in honey reduces the moisture level, destroys yeast cells, and liquefies crystals in the honey.
Raw honey is honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat above 120 °F. Raw honey contains some pollen and may contain small particles of wax.
Strained honey is honey which has been passed through a mesh material to remove particulate material (pieces of wax, propolis, other defects) without removing pollen, minerals or valuable enzymes.
Ultrasonicated honey is honey that has been processed by ultrasonication, a non-thermal processing alternative for honey. When honey is exposed to ultrasonication, most of the yeast cells are destroyed.
Dried honey, has the moisture extracted from liquid honey to create a completely solid, non-sticky honey. This process is done in such a way that there are no additives or binding agents of any kind added which keeps the honey 100% natural. Dried honey is commonly used to garnish desserts.
How to select
Most commercially available honey is blended, meaning that it is a mixture of two or more honeys differing in floral source, color, flavor, density or geographic origin. Check the expiry date before buying. If possible, opt for organic honey. Organic honey refers to the honey or honey combs which is produced, processed, and packaged in accordance with national regulations, and certified as such by some government body or an independent organic farming certification organization.
· Honey enhances browning and crisp -- great for glazing roasted and baked foods to promote surface browning.
· Honey is a flavour enhancer -- an always welcomed natural sweetener for hot teas and cold beverages, especially when there is a huge variety of flavours of honey.
· It provides texture and feel -- an excellent addition in pastries and cakes making
· It prolongs shelf-life -- a natural preservative for pickles and sauces.
· Honey retains moisture -- an essential ingredient for providing the moisture in rich cakes and prolonging the moisture retention.
· Honey is binding due to its viscosity -- a brilliant ingredient that aids shaping of desserts such as pastries, puddings, and cakes.
· Honey adds color -- contributes a delightful golden hue to sauces, dressings, jellies, and frozen desserts.
How to store
Store honey in dark colored bottles and keep them in a cool place in your kitchen cabinet.
· With respect to carbohydrates, honey is mainly fructose (about 38.5%) and glucose (about 31.0%),making it similar to the synthetically produced inverted sugar syrup which is approximately 48% fructose, 47% glucose, and 5% sucrose. Honey's remaining carbohydrates include maltose, sucrose, and other complex carbohydrates
· As with all nutritive sweeteners, honey is mostly sugars and is not a significant source of vitamins or minerals.