Crystallization, also called granulation or sugaring, is a natural process that happens to all honey over time. Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution. It contains more than 70% sugars and less than 20% water. This means that the water in honey contains more sugar than it should naturally hold. The overabundance of sugar makes honey unstable, especially as the ambient temperature drops. As the honey turns to sugar crystals, it may result in large, grainy crystals, very fine, smooth crystals, or anything in between. The speed at which honey crystallizes is determined by the type of flowers bees collected nectar from. Some honey, while raw, may turn with in just a few weeks, while other honey may last a few months or even years without granulating. Honey made from the nectar of rapeseed (Canola) plants for example, crystallizes so quickly that beekeepers may have a hard time spinning it out of the comb!
When honey becomes crystallized, it has not gone bad. Nor does it affect taste or quality of the honey. Actually, there is a method to do this on purpose – creamed honey, spun honey, or whipped honey. When making whipped honey, the end goal is to have very tiny, fine crystals to give the honey more of a smooth, spreadable consistency. It works great for spreading on toast, a peanut butter and honey sandwich, or as a fruit dip. Whipped honey contains no other ingredients beside honey, nor is it whipped in any way. It is simply honey that has undergone the crystallization process to form very fine sugar crystals. We label our whipped honey as honey spread.
Honey crystallizes fastest at around 57° F, which is why we always recommend that you do not store honey in the refrigerator. The warmer your storage temperature is, the more slowly your honey will crystalize. If your honey does solidify, simply heat the honey with a low gentle heat and it will form back into a liquid! Putting the jar into a pot on the stove filled with water works well, however be careful not to get the honey too warm. Once the honey is heated over about 120 degrees F, the properties that make raw honey so beneficial begin to degrade.
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