With the Central African Republic being the leading consumer of honey worldwide, the market for honey is growing at a tremendous rate. This natural sweetener has endless benefits due to its rich antioxidant content and nutritional proportion. It is also used in various medicinal preparations since time immemorial. About 8000 years back a cave painting was found where honey was being used. The history of honey dates back to these many million years and even today it holds utmost importance.
Today there is a variety of honey available in the market in different flavours and forms. People often tend to get confused about what is better between raw vs processed honey. Here’s a breakdown of what exactly they are and what should you ideally consume.
What Exactly is Raw Honey?
As the name suggests, honey that is obtained directly from the beehives and used without any processing is raw honey. This honey is just filtered out using a sieve or cloth to eliminate the bees or any kind of waste.
Difference Between Raw Honey and Processed Honey
As mentioned above raw honey is obtained from beehives and packed in a bottle without any processing. On the other hand, processed honey undergoes certain steps before being sold. To reduce the stickiness and viscosity the obtained honey from beehives is heated at a certain temperature. In some cases it also requires pasteurization. All of this makes the honey a bit less viscous and delays the crystallization process in it. It also makes the honey’s shade a bit darker. This is how processed honey is different from raw honey.
Raw vs Processed Honey: Which is Better?
Raw honey vs processed honey is a question that almost every other person has. To understand which honey is better and suitable for you, first, you need to understand the difference between two and what properties both of them possess. Here’s a breakdown of the difference these kinds of honey have amongst them.
1. Increase in Toxin Content
- When the honey is pasteurized, Ayurveda suggests that certain toxins are produced from its molecules. These toxins can lead to a number of health problems ranging from indigestion, and congestion to obesity.
2. Likely Chances of Adulteration
- There have been certain instances where people get adulterated products in the name of pure and organic products. Because there’s no proof of purity. That’s why one should always opt for brands where a QR code or lab report is added to the product to check the origin and purity of the product.
- When it comes to honey, most of the time sugar is added to it to increase the sweetness. Also, there are preservatives that are added to processed honey to increase the shelf life. On the contrary, raw honey is simply packed the way it is obtained and there are no chances at all of the adulteration, making it a healthier alternative.
3. Eliminates Phytonutrients
- Commonly known as bee glue, Propolis is a part of phytonutrients present in honey. This propolis is believed to help eliminate the risk of colon cancer. There are also anti-tumour and anti-cancer properties in other phytonutrients in honey. But when honey undergoes processing it loses all these phytonutrients and goodness it has initially.
4. Change in Original Look, Feel and Taste
- The look and feel of processed honey are quite different when compared to raw honey. During the crystallization process, honey gets a brownish colour. Apart from that, it also loses the viscosity and the aroma it has initially. The heating process also changes the texture of the honey and makes it a bit more transparent. On the other hand, raw honey seems quite cloudy as there’s no processing. The sweetness and flavour of raw honey are unmatchable as compared to any processed honey.
5. Added Health Benefits
- Honey undoubtedly has endless health benefits. It helps in monitoring blood pressure, healing wounds and also treating cough and cold issues. Glucose oxidase, one of the compounds present in honey possesses antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. This enzyme is lost during the heating and crystallization process of honey. Hence consuming raw honey is advised due to its rich antioxidant content.
Cruelty-free Honey at Girveda
You might come across honey packaging that suggests that it is obtained using a cruelty-free manner. What exactly does that mean? Well, there are beekeepers that let the honey thrive naturally. Also, the honey bees are allowed to store honey for themselves for winter and not collected it during spring. This way honeybees are not disturbed and honey is obtained without harming them, making it a cruelty-free process.
At Girveda, we have beehives in the forest region of Gir-Somnath. Our beekeepers obtain this honey in a cruelty-free manner and it is then directly packed into bottles after lab testing. This makes the honey 100% pure and raw and healthy for consumption. You can also taste it and savour the goodness of Gir’s farm-fresh honey.