What is Honey?
Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar)) through regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation. Honey is stored in wax structures called honeycombs.
Honey is the perfect sweetener, inclusion and flavor enhancer for consumers who want natural products but want them to taste like indulgent foods and beverages. Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose. Honey is rich in carbohydrate content.
Also Read: Honey in Bakery Products (Natural & Artificial Flavour)
History of Honey:
Over the years, the use of honey as food ingredient has become more popular and more diverse. Honey is as old as written history. Honey was valued highly and often used as a form of currency, tribute, or offering. In the 11th century A.D., German peasants paid their feudal lords in honey and beeswax. Honey was used not only in food and beverages but also to make cement, in furniture polishes and varnishes, and for medicinal purposes.
Honey adds flavour and texture to a range of sweet and savoury dishes. Honey was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits, and was used in many other dishes. The main parts of the honey are sugars and water. The water content mature one honey lies between 15 to 20 % and sugar constitutes the largest portion.
Natural Production of Honey
Honey is taken out from nectar of flowers by bees through their proboscis and then stores it in their stomach. Honeybees then carry it back to their hive in tiny, 40-milligram loads. The finished honey is thick, sticky and very sweet.
Artificial process of Honey Processing Steps:
- Remove full honeycombs from hive
- Uncap the honeycombs
- Extract the honey from the combs
- Filter, Process and bottle
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Uses of Honey in Food industry:
- Honey is used in salad dressing.
- It is used in dressing food.
- It is used for baking purpose also.
- It is used in cooking and baking.
- Honey is also used by bakers to be added in cookies.
- It finds its uses in confectionaries, breakfast cereals, frozen foods, meats etc.
- After caramelization, it gives brilliant flavour and taste.
- It is also used in various desserts to make them more delicious.
- It is used in candies, ice cream, jams due to its sweet flavour.
- It is used in manufacturing of cakes, fruitcakes, breads etc.
Advantages or Benefits of Honey
- Honey is great for keeping cakes and biscuits fresh and moist.
- Honey is used as a preservative as many microorganisms do not grow in honey.
- It has antibacterial property.
- It is natural sweetener and has anti-cancer activity.
- It has good anti-oxidant and antimicrobial properties.
- It is a natural product and thus does not harm human health.
- It is very good at killing bacteria.
- Honey is hydrophilic, attracts water if exposed to environment.