How Long Does Honey Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Forever

A natural sweetener and almost everybody’s favorite – yes, we are talking about honey. Honey is a universal product that people use in a variety of food and food preparations. Some people love putting honey over their pancakes every morning, and some are addicted to consuming it with water or green tea.

Besides that, honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties too. And it is also a well-known antioxidant. Due to all these properties, you can find them in every household. Some use it for its taste, and others use it as medicine.

Even storing honey is not a problem – just put it in a container and use it away for as long as you want.

How Long Does Honey Last?

Honey is the only consumable item that never goes bad. Because if you store it properly, it is possible to consume and finish the bottle of honey, but it will never happen that you will have to throw it off. Because if we had to be honest, honey undoubtedly lasts forever.

Yes, that is right, if stored in a proper condition, honey will never spoil, and that is due to its natural composition. The only reason why it can go stale is if you mix something with it. The addition of a foreign item can cause reactions. And there are chances that over time the solution can go stale.

The only other thing that happens is it can crystalize. Even then, you can warm it up and consume it as usual. However, if you want to save the effort of heating, there are ways you can stop honey from getting crystallized. The solution is to keep it in a sealed container and keep it in a dry place.

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Keeping honey in a sealed air-tight container has benefits other than keeping it from crystallization. It remains hygienic, and it will not attract ants. It is going to save you a lot of effort. You can refrigerate honey, but it can become thick sometimes due to the colder temperatures. 

Storage ConditionReaction
In a freezerCan crystalize
In a sealed jarIt Will remain edible forever

Why Does Honey Last That Long?

Honey can even stay perfectly edible after thousands of years because of its natural components. How long an edible item is fresh depends on its core components, and that is molecular composition. The composition of honey also makes it a highly effective antibacterial thing.

The reasons why honey never spoils are listed down below:

  • How soon something will spoil depends on its water content. And it is an important reason why honey never goes stale. The water content is about 17% only. The higher the water content, the higher chances of spoilage.
  • Concerning water content, honey also has low water activity. It means there is very little chance for any bacterial growth. And thus, it helps it to stay good forever.
  • Foods that have acidity levels are prone to be good for a long time. That is where honey wins as it has high acidity levels. The pH level of food determines how acidic it is. The pH level is at four, which further adds to the reason why honey lasts forever. If the acidity is higher, few to no bacteria can grow in the food product.
  • Another reason for the honey to stay edible forever is -because it has hydrogen peroxide as one of its core components. 
  • And finally, honey is made from nectar that bees derive from the flower. The nectar in its purest forms and hence honey never spoils.
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Conclusion

So all being said and done, honey is truly magical. It is not only versatile in use but also lasts forever. And more importantly, it has a pure and unadulterated sweet taste.

Besides being a substitute for table sugar, it has medicinal properties too. The consistency is perfect for application on any wound. Plus, since it has Hydrogen Peroxide, that has added benefits. 

Also, there are almost zero side effects of consuming honey. Just make sure that it is pure and not adulterated. Consuming a small amount of it each day contributes a bit to keep you healthy. You get benefits at a small cost.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2007.01417.x
  2. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/ben/cdm/2017/00000018/00000010/art00005
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