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How to Tell if Honey is Pure

How to Tell if Honey is Pure? 5 Tests That Reveal the Truth

Honey is one of nature's most beloved products and has a lot of nutritional and medical benefits. But does the honey jar, that you have brought home, actually contain pure honey? Or has water, sugar syrup or any other substance been added to it? Scroll below to learn how to test your honey at home.
NutriNeat Staff
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
The words "natural" and "pure" are used to label many items but in reality, are those items really natural or pure as advertised? The green vegetables and fruits that you buy from a grocer, are they naturally grown or is their large size due to an extensive amount of fertilizers and growth hormones? Chemical additives and preservatives can be added and indeed, are added to many food products. This makes it confusing for the average consumer. How do you know that spoonful of honey you add to your tea, is really pure honey and not 90% chemical, 10% honey? Whether you are using honey as a substitute for sugar or eating it for its nutritional benefits, to get the maximum benefit of the product, it should be in its purest form, free from added chemicals or water. Listed below are a few "how to tell if honey is pure" tests.

How Can You Tell if Honey is Pure?

There are some simple tests and experiments that can be performed at home, to verify the purity of honey. They are:

Test 1: Using water
  • Pour water into a glass.
  • Spoon out a tablespoon of honey from the honey jar, you want to test.
  • Place the spoon in the glass of water.
  • Gently shake the glass.
Verdict: If the honey starts to dissolve and mix with the water, it's not pure and some amount of water has been added to it. But if the honey forms a small lump and sinks to the bottom of the glass, it is pure in quality.

Test 2: Using methylated spirit/denatured alcohol
  • Mix equal parts of honey and equal parts of spirit in a glass.
Verdict: If the honey forms a lump and sinks, it is pure. But if it is adulterated, it will dissolve in the spirit and turn it milky white.

Test 3: Using fire
  • You will need a candle with a cotton wick.
  • Dip the wick into a small amount of honey.
  • Allow the excess honey to drip off.
  • Now light a match and hold it to the wick.
Verdict: If the candle wick burns, the honey is pure. But if it fails to burn, water has been added to the honey.

Test 4: Using paper
  • Use a blotting paper or a white cloth.
  • Drop a few drops of honey on the paper/cloth.
Verdict: If the honey is pure, it will remain solid on paper. Impure honey will be absorbed by the paper. With the cloth, try washing off the honey. If it does not stain, it is pure.

Test 5: Testing the swirl of honey
  • Dip a honey dipper or spoon into some honey.
  • Hold the dipper above a plate and pour the honey.
  • Watch how the honey falls.
Verdict: As it falls, pure honey will flow from the spoon in a clockwise direction. It will do so very slowly. You flick the spoon upwards and the flow will slowly stop. A layered step formation of honey is formed on the plate. If adulterated, the honey will flow rapidly and smoothly and will pool on the plate.

Before carrying out any of the above tests, one basic and extremely simple "how to check the purity of honey" method is to read the label on the jar of honey, prior to its purchase. Manufacturers are required to mention the additives and additional substances that have been added to the produced honey. So you can make out, if it is organic or extra sweet or artificial flavorings have been added, simply by scrutinizing the label. If you are buying honey straight from a beekeeper, then the honey is of a raw and unprocessed quality as you are purchasing it straight from the source.