How to Test Honey for Purity

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Produced by honey bees, honey is one of the most ancient and popular of all sweeteners known to mankind. Today, while there are a number of pure, unadulterated 100% natural brands of honey and raw honey available on the market, there are also numerous impure brands that falsely claim purity. Read on to learn how to test the purity of honey.

Things You'll Need

  • One or more samples of honey Cotton wick Candle and match Glass of water Blotting paper
  • Pour a half cup of honey slowly into another cup. Pure honey will spin clockwise as you pour it. This is a result of the assymetrical structure of honey molecules that give it a righthand bias.

  • Test the water content in your honey. To do this, dip a length of your cotton wick into the honey. Hold one end to allow excess honey to slowly dribble off. Light your candle and then hold it to the soaked end of the cotton wick. If your honey is pure, it will contain minimal water content, and will burn; if it is impure, it will likely have a high water content and which will prevent it from burning. If the impure honey does burn, then you will hear it crackle.

  • Attempt to dissolve a tablespoon of honey in water. Stir the honey into a glass of water. Pure honey won't dissolve, but rather form a lump and sink down to the bottom of the glass. Impure honey will easily dissolve in the water. Yiu can use methylated spirit instead of water for the same purpose. Impure honey eill dissolve and turn the methylated spirit milky.

  • Pour a teaspoon of your honey onto a blotting paper. Unlike the impure honey, pure honey will not be absorbed by the blotting paper. A coffee filter may work for this purpose. Alternatively, pour the teaspoon of honey onto a piece of cloth and then wash the cloth. Pure honey will not leave a stain on the cloth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spice up your honey butter with a pinch of cinnamon

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  • Photo Credit Image courtesy of redvisualg, under the StockXchange license
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