How to store raw honey?
In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how to store raw honey?” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of raw honey and what affects its shelf life. Moreover, we will also discuss if raw honey can go bad.
How to store raw honey?
To properly store raw honey, only cold storage below 5 °C is suited to simultaneously prevent crystallization, melting of crystallized honey and fermentation (1,2).
An appropriate temperature of 20 °C is advised for the storage of liquid or crystalline honey. As a result, the room has to be 20 °C and have a relative humidity that is no more than 65% (1).
As a consequence of slow chemical and enzymatic changes, honey kept at temperatures over 25 °C has a tendency to gradually lose quality over time (1).
What kind of containers are good for storing honey?
According to the experts, it is good to store honey in its original container. Moreover, food-safe plastic containers or glass jars can also be used for this purpose. Male sure do not use metal containers because they can oxidise (1).
What is the shelf life of raw honey?
Raw honey has a long shelf life and you can keep it for a long time due to its low water content and high sugar concentration, limiting microbial growth. However, it should be consumed within two years to prevent fermentation, oxidation, and loss of quality (3,4).
While honey doesn’t spoil indefinitely, its longevity depends on storage conditions. It is advisable to keep honey tightly sealed in a dry environment. After two years, monitoring its appearance and taste is important to ensure quality (3,4).
What affects the shelf life of raw honey?
Exposure to moisture may reduce the honey’s shelf life. Moisture can add water content to the honey and foster a fermentation-friendly environment (5,6).
Heat is another damaging factor that can accelerate enzymatic reactions and alter flavor, color, and scent. Light exposure, especially UV radiation, can have an impact on the quality of honey by promoting the breakdown of some honey components like glucose oxidase (6,7).
Contaminants and microorganisms
Furthermore, the introduction of contaminants and microorganisms might result in deterioration due to contamination with foreign chemicals or improper storage techniques (6).
In order to maintain honey’s ideal shelf life, it is essential to protect it from these elements by keeping it cold and dry, away from light and moisture, and making sure the container is well sealed.
Is it possible to freeze raw honey?
Yes, it is possible and very easy to freeze raw honey. Following are the steps include in freezing honey (1,2):
- Take a container or a freezer bag.
- Just place honey in it. And put this container or bag into the freezer.
- Once the honey freezes properly, take it out of the freezer.
- Place it in a dry or cool area. Make sure honey should be away from direct sunlight.
Can raw honey go bad?
Raw honey is a supersaturated solution. And there are very less chances of contamination in it. Comparatively honey has a long shelf life due to its low moisture content, acidity, and natural antimicrobial properties, honey is inhospitable to bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms that typically cause food to spoil (1).
However, sometimes some changes start to appear in honey, like a colour change, it becomes thicker or even crystallizes. But still, it is safe to consume (8).
In this brief guide, we answered the question “how to store raw honey?” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of raw honey and what affects its shelf life. Moreover, we discussed if raw honey can go bad.
1. Adhikari, S. Processing, Packaging and Storage of Honey. Foodwave Annual Bulletin, CCT, Tribhuwan University – 2010
2. Kędzierska-Matysek, M., et al. Effect of freezing and room temperatures storage for 18 months on quality of raw rapeseed honey (Brassica napus). J Food Sci Technol. 2016;53(8):3349-3355.
3. How long can you store honey?. USDA, 2019.
4. Balkanska, R. Effect of the duration of shelf life on some quality parameters related to bee honey. Agricultural Science And Technology, 2012, 4, 464-467.
5. Correa-Mosquera, A.N., et al. Shelf-life prediction of pot-honey subjected to thermal treatments based on quality attributes at accelerated storage conditions. Food Control, 2022, 142.
6. Singh I, Singh S. Honey moisture reduction and its quality. J Food Sci Technol. 2018;55(10):3861-3871.
7. Abu-Jdayil, B., et al. Heat effect on rheology of light- and dark-colored honey. Journal of Food Engineering, 2002, 51, Pages 33-38.
8. Krishnan, R., et al.Honey crystallization: Mechanism, evaluation and application. The Pharma Innovation Journal, 2021, 10(5): 222-231.