Honey does not need to be pasteurised to make it safe and it in fact strips honey of beneficial nutrients. Some of our commercial, standard, runny honey we find in our shops has been pasteurised – heated at 70 °C and then cooled rapidly. It makes bottling easier, looks cleaner and smoother, but is it worth it? The heating kills the beneficial bacteria and enzymes, along with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Honey has up to 5000 enzymes your body needs. For example glucose oxidase found in raw honey releases hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid that heal external and internal wounds and infections. Enzymes also aid digestion because the sugars in honey are already partly pre-digested by the action of these enzymes.
We also find filtering or ultra-filtering in commercial honey that basically is done to remove anything that makes the honey look less appealing, a process removing highly beneficial bee pollen found in RAW honey. Ultra-filtration removes 22 amino acids, 26 minerals and large traces of B vitamins contained in the pollen. Plus it’s the pollen which gives our honey its gorgeous flavours. It is noted that in Chinese medicine bee pollen is used to improve health issues such as vitality, unbalanced nutrition and energy levels, not to mention it potent use in therapies for allergies.
Is there any value left after any kind of processing?
Processed honey is still better for you than sugar, but once it is stripped of so much goodness it’s obvious that RAW honey is the real gift still left on our shelves.