Solid crystallized honey .. How is it formed? And how to dissolve it?

Video duration 03 minutes 11 seconds

Usually honey is liquid at normal temperatures, but when one has to go back to his back locker and pick up a jar of this sweet food ingredient, he may sometimes be surprised that liquid honey has crystallized and turned into a solid substance, even though it did not spoil or stay there for a long time.

The honey we ingest begins as sugary nectar made by flowering plants to attract bees for pollination, and its exact composition depends on the type of plants the nectar came from. But the type of sugar in it consists almost entirely of sucrose, a complex disaccharide made by pairing one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose (fruit sugar). Helen Chersky in The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal.

And bees need to store some of their sugar crop in the hive, so they process it to make it more convenient for storage as the water is removed from it through a complex mechanism, and sucrose is broken down into its component parts where it ends up with a mixture of about 38% fructose, 32% glucose and 17% of water depending on the source of the nectar, as well as other additional particles.

At this ratio there is very little water for microbial growth, but enough to make it sticky and easy to seal in the honeycomb compartments.


In regular honey, so much glucose dissolves in the solution that it becomes supersaturated, which stimulates the glucose molecules to separate from the liquid and form crystals, and each crystal only needs a starting point such as a pollen grain or an atom of beeswax.

Although commercial honey is filtered to remove these small particles, if left too long some glucose molecules may find something – even air bubbles – to serve as a basis for crystallization.

And the types of honey – which contain higher levels of glucose – are more candidates to form these crystals, at a temperature below 4 degrees Celsius, glucose molecules have relatively little energy and cannot move easily, but at 25 degrees Celsius and above it becomes easy for them to stay in solution, and crystals can form between these temperatures and much easier in the middle at 16°C.

At first, the crystals tend to sink into the solution, leaving you with solid honey at the bottom of the jar and liquid on top. After several months, crystallization may continue and spread across the jar, or enough glucose molecules may solidify into crystals to form a sort of balance in the rest of the honey.

Meanwhile, the rest of the honey contains a higher proportion of water as each dissolved glucose molecule is surrounded by a group of 5 water molecules, but when it becomes part of a crystal it gives up 4 of its molecular groups, thus releasing more water.

If this process continues and the honey is left uncovered exposed to the air where it can absorb more water, the liquid honey may become diluted enough for a special yeast to start to grow and cause spoilage, which is exactly what the bees are trying to avoid.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to get rid of the crystals and restore the natural balance in the honey by immersing the jar in hot water. about 49°C for a few minutes, which will cause the solid glucose crystals to decompose and return the honey to its original state.


Honey consists of carbohydrates, mainly, in the form of fructose and glucose, with amounts of some vitamins and minerals.

One gram of honey contains 3 calories, and a tablespoon (15 milliliters) contains 64 calories.

There are chemicals in honey that may kill some types of bacteria and fungi, and when honey is placed on the skin, it acts as a moisture barrier. It may also provide nutrients that may help speed up the healing of wounds.

On the other hand, honey may contain spores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which causes food poisoning in infants, and therefore it should not be eaten by children younger than one year.


  • Honey is rich in sugars, so it is a good source of energy during vigorous physical or sports activities.
  • According to scientific studies, honey preparations may help heal burns and wounds.
  • Eating a small amount of honey before bed may help treat a cough in children over two years old.
  • Honey may help reduce the risk of mucositis caused by radiotherapy in patients receiving this treatment.
  • The use of honey for the previous cases should not be a substitute for medical treatment, and it must be under the supervision of a doctor.
  • When using honey as a dressing for wounds or burns, medical-grade honey must be used, which have been sterilized by radiation to ensure that they are free of Clostridium spores.


  • It is forbidden to eat honey by children under one year of age, because it may contain spores of Clostridium bacteria that lead to food poisoning. After that, the baby’s digestive system has developed sufficiently, so that it can destroy the spores of bacteria.
  • Honey raises blood sugar and should be taken with caution by diabetics, deducting it from the carbohydrate portions of the diet (one tablespoon of honey equals one carbohydrate portion).
  • Honey is very rich in sugars, so it leads to tooth decay, and care must be taken to clean the teeth with brush and paste after eating it.

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