Water content: Ideally the moisture content of honey should be less than 17.8%. If the moisture content is too high, say greater than 20%, the honey may ferment due to yeasts in the honey. Since honey is hygroscopic, if it is not in a sealed container, it will attract moisture from the air.
An amazing fact about honey is that it doesn’t spoil if stored properly. It contains unique properties that prevent bacteria from growing in it.
Honey has a high acidic level and a low water content, a perfect combination that prevents bacteria from spoiling it.
Storage heat: Honey loses many of its’ health benefits with the combination of heat and time. The following is a rule of thumb storage time vs temperature to retain most of its’ health benefits:
- 40 °C for 30 days
- 30 °C for 6 months
- 20 °C for 4 years
- 10 °C for 35 years
Exposure to sunlight: Honey loses many of it’s health benefits with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Hygroscopic nature: Honey is hygroscopic and takes on odours and moisture from its environment. It is also acidic, so it can dissolve metal if stored in metal containers.
Honey is a raw food and is NOT recommended for infants less than 12 months of age