Q. Show the Physical criteria of quality for Honey?
Colour, crystallization, pH, acidity, water content are some of the criteria used for analysis of honey. These criteria are described next.
The colour of the honey varies from straw-yellow to nearly black according to its botanical source and to conditions of processing and storage it has undergone. Light coloured honey typically has a mild flavour, while dark coloured honey is usually stronger in flavour. Blended honey is normally graded by colour, the lighter the colour, the higher the quality and value.
At normal temperatures honey exists as clear syrup preferred by consumers. However, on storage, coarse granulation or crystallization can occur, which is a natural process that occurs in honey. Honey is a supersaturated sugar solution out of which the glucose tends to crystallize. The tendency of honey to granulate depends on glucose/water ratio. At a ratio of 2:1, it granulates rapidly, whereas, honeys with ratio of 1.7:1 or less tend to remain liquid. Crystallization is most rapid at 14ºC (57ºF) and can be revered by heating.
The major sugars present in honey are fructose, glucose, followed by lower concentration of sucrose and maltose. The actual proportion of glucose to fructose in any particular honey depends largely on the source of the nectar. The average ratio of fructose to glucose is 1.1:1. Other sugars found in small amounts in honey are isomaltose, nigerose, kojibiose, turanose, gentibiose and laminaribose.