Honey is one of those products that we usually have at home but that we consume little by little, just like salt, sugar, or rice. That is why these types of jars and preserves usually remain in our pantries for a long period of time. Therefore, it is normal to wonder: does honey expire? In this article, we want to answer this question and find out everything about the appropriate best-before date for honey and how to detect if the honey is still in good condition. Take note!
One of the most frequently asked questions when we talk about honey is the following: does honey have an expiration date? According to the regulations regarding consumption, all products must have a best-before date or expiration date, but these dates do not mean the same thing. While the expiration date is related to safety and, therefore, through it the consumption of food is discouraged when that date has been exceeded, the best-before date is related to quality, that is, from That scheduled date the product may lose properties, so its durability will depend on the food itself and its storage conditions.
In this sense, we can establish that honey has a best-before date, but not an expiration date, so it is determined that honey does not expire. However, it is advisable to consume it preferably 2 years from its harvest, to obtain all its properties from it and continue consuming quality, honey.
The question now would be: can we consume honey after the best-before date? The answer is yes, although always taking into account that after this time the product may undergo changes that may affect the optimal state for consumption, being a lower quality honey.
As we have seen, the best-before date for honey is 2 years after its harvest and although the honey does not expire, these are the years in which it will have the best quality when consumed. As with most products, not all of them stand the test of time, and little by little they deteriorate to a greater or lesser extent. In the case of honey, this deterioration is very slow due to its composition, which is why it is more resistant than other foods.
What is its durability due to? Basically due to factors such as the low percentage of water it contains (between 17 and 18%), which makes it is difficult for microorganisms to proliferate. The second factor that complicates the growth of harmful bacteria is the pH of the honey, which is acidic. And finally, the antimicrobial compounds in honey, such as phenolic compounds or carbon peroxide, which have antifungal and antibacterial properties, prevent honey from excessively deteriorating over time.
Although honey is a very resistant product over time, it is true that over the years it can undergo organoleptic and physicochemical changes, such as changes in acidity and humidity, which can lead to a loss of quality honey. For this reason, it is considered that after 3 years of age, honey is no longer in an optimal state for consumption. However, the durability of honey may vary depending on its storage conditions.
To make honey last much longer, you must know the best methods to preserve it correctly, since these factors can influence the loss of quality of the food. In this sense, it is advisable to follow these tips:
As we have previously pointed out, honey does not have an expiration date, but it can undergo changes that alter its optimal quality for consumption. But how do you know if the honey is bad? The answer is basically in its appearance.
If the honey has not been properly preserved, it can lose effectiveness, and quality and acquire a bad appearance. In case you notice that the honey has darkened, this may be an indicator that it is not in very good condition.
Honey contains HFM, a natural compound present due to the high levels of sugar, water, and acidity. In the event that the amounts of HFM vary, due to exposure to adverse conditions and factors, it may affect its quality. That is, if the HFM is lower, the honey will turn into sugar, dry out and darken, thus losing consistency and properties.
In the case of adulterated honey, for example, diluted with water, it is likely that it quickly goes bad, since water is a factor that promotes the appearance of bacteria and other microorganisms. To check, you can place a tablespoon of honey on absorbent paper and remove it. In case there are marks or the paper is torn, it will mean that it is adulterated since natural honey does not leave any trace.