What Does the Color of My Raw Honey Mean?

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By: Greg Brian


What Does the Color of My Raw Honey Mean?

 If you haven’t paid any attention to the types of honey you buy, you might not have noticed the color of it might vary, depending on what’s purchased. The color of honey tells you a lot about what type it is, and even what might be happening to it on a natural basis.


Go take a look at the honey you have on hand now. Let’s learn some additional information about what the color of honey can tell you about its quality. 


What is the General Color of Raw Honey?


Most honey you buy is light brown, which is probably how you’ve seen honey most of your life in health food stores or grocery outlets. That color can still vary based on whether it’s clover honey or wildflower honey.


For clover honey, the majority of brands you’ll find are light brown. Wildflower honey, however, can sometimes vary in color, including turning much darker. 


In total, did you know over 300 varieties of raw or regular honey exist in the world? All of those can affect the color of your honey based on the variety. Much of this goes on the region where the honey is harvested, the particular flowers it comes from, and even the time of year. 


Other than clover honey and wildflower honey, color often differs in types like Alfalfa, Eucalyptus, and Tupelo as just a few examples. Oftentimes, honey manufacturers will even blend a wide variety of honey types together to create a unique color and taste.



What Color Does Honey Turn When it Goes Bad?


It’s important to know what color honey turns to when it truly does spoil. One thing to know is honey doesn’t spoil easily. As long as it’s stored in cool/dry temperatures, it can last for potentially centuries and still taste good.


The only thing that does spoil honey is if the container it’s stored in leaks, causing moisture to develop inside. When this happens, bacteria grows, leading to spoilage.


Go check all the honey you’ve stored in your basement or other part of the house. Inspect to make sure it’s still sealed tightly. If you’re not sure, open it up and check the color. What does it look like?


Truly bad honey will look cloudy rather than golden. You might even notice it looks literally white, a definite sign to throw it out as basic medical advice. 


Another type of color in honey can indicate a particular natural process called crystallization. This often confuses people into thinking the honey has gone bad when it hasn’t.


The Color of Honey During Crystallization


When you buy raw or organic honeys, it’s possible it’ll crystallize quicker based on how it’s stored. Cooler temperatures could make the honey crystallize, turning it darker and placing what looks like white crystals on the surface.


As unappealing as this is, it’s not something to panic over. Your raw honey is still good with all its health benefits intact, including amino acids, anti-inflammatory powers, and wound healing capabilities. You just need to warm it up in a pot of warm water to get it back to looking normal. 


Unfortunately, since it sometimes looks disgusting to the eye, many people throw out crystallized honey with the thought it’s no longer edible. 


Don’t let the white crystals fool you. Sure, the white color is easy to think spoilage, but naturally white honey exists and is still very tasty.


The Honey Color Scheme


Did you know something called a Pfund Scale is used to grade the different colors of raw honey? It ranges from Water White to Dark Amber.


Keep in mind darker honey contains more antioxidants, so it’s one to look out for when you buy. Still, a lot of people love white honey as well, even though it costs more to buy. 


Here at Artie’s Harvest, our wildflower raw honey, straight from bee pollen, can vary in color based on the varietals where it comes from. Nevertheless, the taste is always incredible, which trumps color any day.








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