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Extending the shelf life of honey
25 May 2013, 10:51,
#1
Extending the shelf life of honey
as you all know honey is not only great tasting and a replacement for sugar but its also got medicinal purposes as well, i have recently treat my wifes blephitis ( Eye condition) with honey, so its wise to keep a jar or six around.

But as you will also have noticed that in time it goes off colour and becomes bitty and crystaline which can be offputting.

Dont throw away your honey either put it still in the jar ( lid off) into a pan of water and boil it until it liquifies, or give it a minute in the microwave ( lid off) Be Careful when hot it can buble and spit. but when its liquified either give it a good stir or put the top on when it stops bubbling ( if its bubbling) and give it a brisk shake and then leavve to cool.

if done properly it will cool down and solidify again and be nice and clear again as you bought it, or opaque if it was that type of honey.
Preppers willingly embrace the benefits of modern technology, but we aint daft enough to rely upon it.
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25 May 2013, 11:00,
#2
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
I heard somewhere that they found some 3000 year old honey in Egypt that was still OK. If I built a pyramid around my honey , would that do it?

OH says she never liked Egypt anyway
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25 May 2013, 23:53,
#3
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
I Was going to say about that RS.

Honey does not go off.....ever. It dries out, solidifies, crystallises, etc, but doesn't turn bad.

The Egyptian story is true, but you need to hear the full story.....or the part relating to honey.

Basically, scientists found 'offerings' of food, in the pyramids, and one of the offerings was a load of crystals. A bit of an odd food. They added water to some of the crystals, and it turned liquidy, as if dissolved. The dissolved solution was actually pure honey, as fresh and good to eat as the day it was harvested. Flavour, and 95% of nutrients were identical to fresh honey!!!

If you store honey, you can store it as long as the pharaohs have been dead. In other words, if you don't open your honey, it'll last longer than you, and your next 10 generations!!!

Pollen is an 'eternal' substance. To pollen-date an artefact is more accurate than carbon-dating, based on the fact that pollen doesn't break down over time (one of the reasons honey doesn't go off). Thus, storing pollen foods (honey) SHOULD last as long as dinosaur bones....millions of years!!! But that is only theory I've read, and it's untested. No dinosaur honey caves have been found haha.
Dissent is the highest form of Patriotism - Thomas Jefferson
Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither - Benjamin Franklin
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26 May 2013, 10:09,
#4
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
Two jars where found in KV62 (Kings Valley Tomb 62) belonging to king Tut, apparently still semi liquid. Honey was also used to preserve bodies as vessels have been found containing small Children submerged in Honey. Alexander the great was said to have been displayed in a Honey filled Sarcophagus for a while, but while you can take that with a pinch of Salt, there are historical precedents for this.
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7 October 2013, 22:05, (This post was last modified: 7 October 2013, 22:29 by Spuzzana.)
#5
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
Hi Northern Rider.

There is another true story about honey in Egypt related to the one Tatar Horde describes.

Archaeologists found a tomb that had a sealed amphora in it. When they broke the amphora open they discovered it was full of honey. As it was lunch time-ish, they decided to stop and eat. They dipped bread into the honey and ate. One of the people found a hair and pulled. A fully preserved infant came up out of the honey in the amphora.

This is written about in Collins Beekeepers Bible.

Further to the above: A technical summary on honey.

Ideally you should not heat honey above 50C.

Honey will form crystals slowly around 34-36C which incidentally is the same top level temperature in a beehive when it is producing new young bees.

You should be careful about heating honey to a high temperature as this will affect the diastase and hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde (HMF) levels. Diastase is the enzyme which breaks down starch. It is a protein and therefore affected by heat and natural breakdown processes. Its quality in honey will reduce in time and heating. Its activity is measurable and is expressed as a Diastase Number. HMF is a substance produced by the degradation of sugars in the presence of acids, this occurs with ageing of honey and is accelerated by heating. (quote Paraphrased from - Guide to Bees and Honey - Ted Hooper)
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8 October 2013, 10:30,
#6
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
(7 October 2013, 22:05)Spuzzana Wrote: You should be careful about heating honey to a high temperature as this will affect the diastase and hydroxymethylfurfuraldehyde (HMF) levels. Diastase is the enzyme which breaks down starch. It is a protein and therefore affected by heat and natural breakdown processes. Its quality in honey will reduce in time and heating. Its activity is measurable and is expressed as a Diastase Number. HMF is a substance produced by the degradation of sugars in the presence of acids, this occurs with ageing of honey and is accelerated by heating. (quote Paraphrased from - Guide to Bees and Honey - Ted Hooper)

Spoken like a true bee-keeper, Sir! (You are, aren't you? Smile) I'd guess from what you say that it would be best to heat it gently then and never above 50 degrees C?

If the diastase does degrade over time and the HMF is formed by degradation, can you tell us whether the honey's properties (taste and more importantly, antimicrobial,) are also degraded?



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8 October 2013, 22:24,
#7
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
Pollen does degrade over time. It depends on the environment the pollen seeds are deposited in. Pollen that is thousands of years old can be identified even though it is sometimes possible it is no longer fertile or intact. If deposited in an anaerobic mud, it may be preserved very many thousands of years. In dry environments also it can be thousands of years old. Frozen also preserves amazingly well, but it would need to have been constantly frozen and not subjected to seasonal variation. The rate of freezing and later the thawing out will have a direct effect on the cell structure integrity. I wonder what would happen if you froze honey? I would think it would be ok but I have not heard of it being done... Probably because there is no need to, but if transported to sub zero climates or ending up temporarily sub zero, then it would be a possibility. Ummm.
"How far back in time do you think our future will be?"
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8 October 2013, 22:41,
#8
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
Good additional info at these links:

http://thesurvivalmom.com/2012/06/12/sto...long-term/
http://www.survivalblog.com/2007/03/hone...lizat.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey

73 de KE4SKY
In
"Almost Heaven" West Virginia
USA
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9 October 2013, 00:27, (This post was last modified: 9 October 2013, 00:44 by Spuzzana.)
#9
RE: Extending the shelf life of honey
Hi Grumpy Grandpa

Thank you for your questions.

1st Yes I am a beekeeper and own a number of colonies. Have been keeping bees for several years and find it to be a most absorbing past-time/hobby. In fact when I put forward some of my ideas on survival in a TEOTWAWKI situation, bees form a key part of the basis for the plans due to their critical importance to the health of this world.

2nd. I am not able to give you a categorical answer to what would happen to flavour and antimicrobial properties. Looking at it from a logical point of view, it is highly likely that both would be affected. Essential oils form a key part of the flavour of honey and is present in every honey when first taken off the hive. You can smell it as you open the hive as it is very strong. After a few hours unless bottled very quickly this flavour evaporates and is gone. Adding heat into the equation will certainly cause the essential oils to evaporate faster.

In fact you could carry out your own experiments. There are other beekeeper's like me do not use any form of heat treatment to aid honey extraction. Ask around to find your local beekeepers and ask them to sell you some honey in the comb. That way you can guarantee the honey has not been heated above the highest temperature the bees keep their hives. That temperature is 36C maximum.

When you get it home slice the caps off the top of the comb on both sides and put it into a sieve. Place a receptacle under the sieve then use a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon and apply pressure to force the honey out of the comb. Some wax will end up in the honey. You can always eat that if its for your own purposes or you can place muslin in the sieve which will stop the wax passing through. I you do use muslin you can force the maximum honey out by really bashing it around to break up the wax comb.

Split the honey into a control sample and however many test samples you want. If you didn't use muslin to strain the honey the highest temperature you can go to will be 63C as the melting point for bees wax is 64C. If allowed to melt in the honey it will totally ruin the texture. Carry out your heat tests and when cool taste them versus the control sample.

Sadly I am not able to carry out such an experiment this year as my bees need all of their honey for this winter. The area they are in has less forage than I thought after moving them here to mid Wales.

Great links Charles.

All of the information on all three links provided by Charles is accurate.

In fact there is mention of the most interesting property of honey. Use as an aid to wound healing. In a TEOTWAWKI situation honey is probably going to be the most important natural resource you can have in your stocks.

Has everyone put some aside?

I certainly hope so and preferably lots of honey from your local area rather than the products purchased in the supermarkets.

Next time you go into a supermarket pick up a jar and read the label. You will find the honey is a blended form of honey from all over the world. Its not local. Therefore, if there are any intrinsic healing and or health properties from honey sourced locally, you will be missing out on those benefits.

Its not been proven yet. However, there is reason to believe that local honey is the best medicine for hay fever. It is thought that local honey due to the pollen that is present in your area in being in the honey, this over time alleviates hay fever.
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