Shelf life of honey
In principle, pure honey can hardly spoil and therefore has a long shelf life. Honey has even been found in the ancient Egyptian royal tombs that was completely in good condition! In order to comply with regulations, it has an expiry date on it. This guarantees, among other things, the useful ingredients in honey. This is usually two years from the date of harvest. After this, the enzymes gradually decrease and the honey becomes darker.
Honey is best stored at a cellar temperature of around 12 degrees Celsius. Do not store honey in the refrigerator. Furthermore, you must keep honey dark, as light speeds up the crystallization process. Finally, it is important to keep honey airtight, because honey easily absorbs moisture and odors from the outside air.
Crystallization of honey
Moreover, honey can crystallize (solidify). The speed with which this happens depends on the amount of grape sugar. This differs per honey type. For example, rapeseed honey contains a lot of grape sugar and therefore it quickly solidifies. Acacia honey contains a lot of fructose and remains liquid for a long time.
To make crystallized honey liquid again, it must be heated. Watch this! Honey may not be heated above 40 to 45 degrees Celsius. If this happens anyway, many food rich enzymes are destroyed. The best way to liquefy honey is with an au bain-marie. This is placing a pan or bowl in a water bath. This way the honey is evenly heated. Always ensure that the water does not exceed 40 to 45 degrees Celsius.