Does honey expire?
If you’re anything like us, you probably go through bottles of honey constantly. Honey is so versatile and delicious! It can be used in all types of meals and drinks and can also be enjoyed by the spoonful. We can’t seem to get enough of this golden, sweet treat!
But maybe you’ve found a long-lost bottle in the back of your pantry. Lucky you! Or maybe you’ve been on a honey hiatus and are ready to jump back into the game. If you’ve got an older bottle, it may look solid, and you may wonder if it has gone bad: Does honey expire? Do I need to get a new bottle?
We’ve got answers for you.
If stored properly (in a sealed contained away from humidity), honey has a shelf life of forever. This is due to honey’s hygroscopy and low pH, two qualities that make it difficult for the sticky substance to spoil.
According to Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute at University of California, Davis: "Honey in its natural form is very low in moisture. Very few bacteria or microorganisms can survive in an environment like that, they just die. They're smothered by it, essentially."
As per the legislative mandate and Food laws, all the packaged food items should have an expiry or best before date on the label. Honey never goes bad, will be crystallized after a few years, but still, we will use it.
What If My Honey Crystallizes?
Don’t worry if your honey starts looking cloudy. Crystallization is a natural process affected by temperature, the ratio of glucose and fructose, and pollen. Crystallized honey is still delicious and safe to eat, but if you’d rather go for the original, simply place the container in a bowl of warm water and stir.
Ask the archeologists who sampled a bit of the honey they found in 3,000-year old Egyptian tombs - it wasn’t spoiled at all! Apparently the ancient Egyptians were big fans, using honey as a sweetener, preservative, and medicinal remedy. They were definitely onto something: honey is a true superfood.
Raw, unprocessed honey has tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.