Why does honey not spoil?

In this guide, we will address and answer the query, “why does honey not spoil?” and answer other similar related questions like “How to prevent honey from going bad?” and “How should you store honey?”

Why does honey not spoil?

Honey is a sugar, and sugar is a preservative. The sugar in honey prevents it from spoiling by acting as a preservative. Honey has a high sugar content, which means that it has high osmotic pressure. This high osmotic pressure prevents bacteria from growing in honey.

The sugar in honey also makes it difficult for water to evaporate. This means that the honey is less likely to spoil because there is less water available for bacteria to grow in.

Finally, the sugar in honey makes it acidic. This acidity also prevents bacteria from growing in honey.

Moreover, honey contains an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, which is a natural antiseptic. Honey is a natural humectant, which means it absorbs moisture from the air. This makes it difficult for bacteria to grow in honey. 

Honey is stored in a sealed container, which prevents oxygen from getting in and bacteria from growing. Honey has a long shelf life because it is a sugar. Sugar is a preservative, so it prevents the growth of bacteria.

How to prevent honey from going bad?

To prevent spoilage of honey factors such as fermentation and crystallization should be prevented as well.

The fermentation process can be stopped at any time by heating the honey to a temperature above 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). This will kill the yeast cells and prevent further fermentation. Fermented honey can be stored in an airtight container for up to one year.

One way to prevent honey spoilage due to crystallization is to store the honey at a temperature below 50°F. Another way to prevent honey crystallization is to add a small amount of glucose or another sugar to the honey. Finally, some people add a small amount of vinegar to honey to prevent crystallization.

How can you tell that the honey has gone bad?

Honey can go bad, but it takes a while. The first thing you’ll notice is that it becomes crystallized. You can still use crystallized honey, but it will be much thicker and not flow as easily.

 The color may also change and it may become darker. The taste won’t be affected, but the texture will be different. If you see mold on honey, throw it away immediately. If your honey has crystallized, you can place the container in a pot of warm water to liquefy it.

 If your honey has gone bad, you’ll notice a change in color and texture. The honey may also have a sour smell. If you see mold on honey, throw it away immediately.

Lastly, spoilt honey smells sour and unpleasant. Spoiled honey is fermented and smells like alcohol. The taste is also very unpleasant.

How should you store honey?

Honey should be stored in a dark place because sunlight can cause it to deteriorate. The ideal storage temperature for honey is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If honey is stored in a place that is too cold, it will crystallize. If it is stored in a place that is too warm, it will spoil. Honey can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to two years. 

You can freeze honey, but it may change its texture and become granulated. To prevent this, put the honey in a plastic bag or container, seal it tightly, and place it in the coldest part of your freezer.

How is honey processed to ensure it lasts longer?

Honey is processed by adding an acidic solution to it. This acidic solution helps to preserve the honey and keeps it from going bad. An acidic solution is added to honey during processing to lower the pH of the honey.

 This is done to prevent the growth of bacteria in the honey. Bacteria thrive in an environment with a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. By lowering the pH of the honey, it becomes a hostile environment for bacteria, preventing them from growing.

For more details on honey processing. Click here

Other FAQs about Honey that you may be interested in.

Why is honey pasteurized?

Why doesn’t honey go bad?

Does honey tenderize meat?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “why does honey not spoil?”  We have also discussed “Can you store honey in the freezer?” and “Can you store honey in the freezer?”

Hope you found this blog useful, if you have any questions, please let us know