Honey Fraud in Health Food News

You’d think it’d be a pretty simple transaction to buy honey. Pick a jar up, pay for it and take it home. Honey is honey, right?

Not necessarily. Unfortunately, misleading labels and fraud seem to abound in the grocery store and honey isn’t a sweet exemption. Like everything else, ‘Caveat emptor’ applies.

Health Food News On Honey

Just recently, three men were arrested, being accused of faking the origin of imported Chinese honey to avoid paying millions of dollars in antidumping tariffs. The case is the second within a year involving charges of false labelling of Chinese honey. That makes you wonder who’s got away with it, and how can you know where your honey came from?

The bigger problem, however, is making sure you’re buying pure honey. It seems with the high price of honey caused by the limited supply, some beekeepers and food processors have decided to stretch the honey by adding inexpensive sweeteners like corn syrup, inverted syrups and high fructose corn syrup.

Let the buyer BEEware!

This is not a new problem, but honey mixed with high fructose corn syrup is almost indistinguishable, physically and chemically, from the real thing. There can be 80% to 90% corn syrup in honey without being detected.

Great! So you’re buying honey to avoid the problems associated with some of these other sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, and what happens? You’re unknowingly paying high prices to consume it under the guise of honey.

Testing For Pure Honey

Some French researchers are working on ways to test honey to make sure it’s the real deal. Pure, unalderated honey. They use a special type of chromatography to separate and identify complex sugars or polysaccharides according to their characteristic chemical fingerprints. The test is so sensitive it can detect a 1% addition of corn syrup.

There are other tests available, however, and in use in the United States for checking impurities in honey.

Easy Health Food Tips

If you’re concerned about the quality of the honey you’re buying, there are a couple of things you can do.

  • Find a local beekeeper you trust and buy honey from them.
  • Look for honey with “organic” on the label.
  • Check the label to see if the honey has been certified pure.

Certified honey has been tested for various impurities. Honey that has been labelled organic has to meet even stricter standards, in accordance with USDA regulations on organic products and certified by a USDA certified agency or organization.

Look for the real deal. Buy pure honey.

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