Why honey doesn’t spoil - Deepstash

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Why honey doesn’t spoil

  • Acidity. Most bacteria prefer neutral growing conditions. The enzymes bees use to break down the sugar in nectar make it more acidic and less appealing for bacterial growth.
  • Sugar content. Honey has a lot of sugar, but only 18% water, which is not sufficient for most bacteria to grow. Honey has so much sugar that it's hygroscopic - which is the ability to absorb moisture out of the air. When honey is exposed to humidity, more water is added, and when the water content rises above 25%, bacteria will eventually be able to grow. That is why the container of honey should be closed.
  • Antimicrobial compounds. Hydrogen peroxide is produced as a byproduct of some of the enzymes used by bees to digest more complex sugars. Some honey types also contain antimicrobial compounds such as defensin-1, an antibiotic produced by bees.

Combined, these three properties mean honey is very stable as long as it's not exposed to outside moisture or humidity.

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

  • Honey is made by bees. Bees eat nectar, a sugar-rich liquid that is produced by flowers.
  • The bee stores most of the nectar in their "honey stomach." At the hive, bees regurgitate the nectar, blowing bubbles to evaporate the water. They also mix the nectar with their digestive enzym...

Until 2003, the oldest collected, preserved samples of honey are about 3,000 years old. It was discovered inside ancient Egyptian pyramids.

In 2003, archeologists found honey samples from Georgia that dated back 4,700 - 5,500 years.

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