How to escape the trap of fake honey

How to escape the trap of fake honey

A friend of mine stumbled upon a jar of honey at a local shop, priced at less than £1 for 340g of 'Everyday Essentials Clear Honey.' With the rising cost of living and everyone's budget concerns, the allure of such low-priced products is understandable. However, this unbelievably low price left me pondering the authenticity of the honey. When you consider the expenses involved in production, labeling, packaging, transportation, and the shop's profit margin, it becomes hard to believe that raw honey could be sold at such a bargain. The pricing raised doubts in my mind about the quality and authenticity of the honey on offer. Do the maths!


In recent years, headlines have been buzzing about the issue of fake honey – a crafty concoction of genuine honey blended with cheaper sugars and syrups like corn or rice to bulk up the volume. These sneaky additives not only cost less to produce but are also simpler to create than genuine honey, leaving consumers questioning the authenticity and quality of honey in the market. As a consumer, being aware of the signs of fake honey and supporting reputable honey producers can help in combating this issue and ensure you're getting pure, high-quality honey.

In an article published in March by Theguardian, it was claimed that in 2022, the UK imported over 38,000 tonnes of honey from China, heightening concerns of potential adulteration with sugar syrup. 46% of sampled products suspected to be fraudulent and all ten UK honeys sampled failed the testsAlso it was claimed by Mail One that Chinese factories producing more honey than the entire global bee population. 

The complexity of the situation makes it seem like the law should safeguard against the mis-selling of such products in the UK. However, the reality is that large global supply chains, challenges in testing, and confusing labelling practices, make it difficult to address the issue effectively. In this blog, we will delve into these issues and explore potential methods to determine product authenticity and trace their origins. 


Ways to Spot Fake Honey: Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Counterfeit Products 

 1- Read the label

If your honey label does not indicate the specific source or origin, it is likely a blend. Watch out for labels stating "Blend of EU and non-EU honeys," as it may suggest that the honey is a mixture from multiple sources, rather than being sourced exclusively from one particular area. In a Guardian article claims that British beekeepers are pushing for clearer labeling on supermarket honey to identify the countries of origin, particularly due to concerns about the quality of honey imported from China. The UK is one of the major importers of Chinese honey. Supermarkets claim they can trace all the honey they sell back to the beekeeper, but there is no requirement to reveal the countries of origin, making it hard to know if it comes from potentially problematic areas. 


2 - From the ‘taste’  

Real honey tends to have a complex sweetness with subtle floral or herbal notes, while fake honey might taste excessively sweet or lack distinctive flavors. Thin, watery honey that is excessively sweet and leaves an acidic sensation in the throat is indicative of potential sugar syrup, corn, or other additives in the product, suggesting it might be fake. 


 3 - Observe crystallisation

Raw honey tends to crystallize over time, forming small granules or crystals. This natural process is a sign of the honey's purity and indicates that it has not undergone extensive processing or pasteurization. On the other hand, fake or adulterated honey might remain in a liquid state for longer periods or may not crystallize at all. So, if you notice crystallization in your honey, it suggests that it is likely raw and unprocessed. 


4 - Look for Local Honey

Buying honey from local beekeepers or from brands known for their sustainable practices, full transparency, health-conscious approach, or commitment to natural ingredients can increase the likelihood of obtaining genuine honey. 

When purchasing honey from local sellers, consider asking the following questions to ensure its authenticity: 

- Does the honey undergo heating below 40 degrees, as it's the standard practice for preserving its nutritional properties? 

- What is the country of origin, and which specific plants do your bees forage from to produce this honey? 

- Is your honey lab-tested and certified by food testing experts, or is it organic-certified, ensuring its purity and quality? Additionally, inquire about any other certifications or sustainable practices they follow to further verify the honey's genuineness. 


Other simple ways to test if your honey is fake or raw

1. Drop a teaspoon of honey into a glass of water. Fake honey dissolves immediately, while raw honey stays intact at the bottom.
2. Place a drop of room temperature or cooler honey on your finger. If it spreads, it's likely fake honey; if it remains a drop, it's raw honey.
3. Dip an unlit matchstick into your honey and try to strike it. Raw honey will ignite the match, while fake honey won't because of its higher moisture content.

Real honey from British beekeepers

Honeyngreens offers raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered honey sourced from British local beekeepers. Our commitment to quality is evident in every jar, delivering gluten-free, palm oil-free, preservative-free, and chemical-free honey for a fresh and authentic taste. Certified by Minerva Scientific, the UK's experts in honey testing, our honey meets the highest standards, ensuring a delightful and genuine experience.  


The issue of fake honey is an alarming one, threatening to compromise the trust between consumers and honey producers. By staying informed and vigilant, we can protect ourselves from falling into the honey trap. Reading labels, supporting reputable brands, and understanding the nuances of genuine honey are crucial steps towards savoring the sweetness of authentic honey. So, the next time you pick up that jar of honey at an unbelievably low price, think twice and escape the fake honey trap! 

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1 comment

Hello Honeygreens i am really pleased i saw your article on here about he fake honey. In the past we have bought Rowse Runny Honey as sometimes we want a Runny Honey. We understand about Fake Honey but really never knew the fake makes were this bad. We think The Government have let China take over nearly everything in Europe and beyond. I have stopped buying the Supermarket foods and only buy from Organic Farms including Chicken which is grass fed. So thank you so much and will be buying from yourselves from now on. Do you do the "runny honey too. We have just bought some from you but i would like some runny honey plain too. Many thanks for bringing all of this to peoples attention.

Vivienne Buckle

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