Everyone knows about the beneficial properties of honey. It is an effective natural remedy that enhances the immune system and the protective functions of the body. In addition, honey has excellent taste and is completely absorbed by the human body, which makes it an affordable delicacy for a wide range of consumers. Under natural conditions (comb) this product can be stored for centuries. How to store honey at home, so that it does not lose its useful and taste qualities, you can learn from this article.
Honey is very good for health. It normalizes the activity of internal organs, improves immunity and blood composition, protects against premature aging, and is considered a source of powerful energy. All these valuable properties of honey are due to its complex chemical composition and extraordinary biological nature. The main properties of a bee product include: density, viscosity, electrical conductivity, fermentation, crystallization, thermal conductivity, thixotropy, hygroscopic heat capacity, optical activity, and others. Honey has dietary, medicinal and bactericidal properties. Due to its remarkable qualities, it is widely used both in folk and in traditional medicine.
Composition of honey
Honey has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiallergic and antibacterial properties. It has a very rich composition: trace elements, sugars, minerals, enzymes, vitamins, folic and pantothenic acids, zinc, chlorine, boron, aluminum, chromium, silicon, osmium, titanium, tin, lead, nickel, lithium, biologically active substances, necessary for the human body. Honey is a good medicine that helps with burns and wounds, diseases of the heart and blood vessels, biliary tract, liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract (gastrointestinal tract). In addition, the bee product is unusually nutritious. It includes proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, enzymes, etc. When splitting fructose and glucose, a huge amount of energy is released, which is necessary for the vital activity of the body. Therefore, it’s important to know how to store honey at home so that it does not lose its valuable properties.
How long can honey be stored? As mentioned above, under the conditions of a beehive, it is conserved and retains its properties for hundreds of years. The composition of this product has a large number of vitamins, among which the bacteria can not exist. Scientists found honey in wax cells in the ancient Egyptian pyramids, where it was perfectly preserved. At home, the bee product can be kept no more than two years. Under the influence of light and air temperature its useful properties quickly deteriorate. Under certain conditions, the shelf life of the product can be increased to several decades.
To learn how to store honey, you need to mentally look into the beehive. In winter, these hardworking creatures insulate their home so much that the temperature in it does not fall below minus ten degrees even in the most severe frosts. When the thermometer reads more than -20 degrees Celsius, the product loses its structure, instantly sugar and hardens. At high temperatures (more than +20 degrees), the chemical composition of honey changes, taste deteriorates, color is lost, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and bactericidal substances are destroyed. In the process of heating, the bee product begins to ferment, becomes a sweet mass, which contains only carbohydrates. The optimum temperature for storing honey is from -5 to +10 degrees Celsius.
Where to store honey at home? Another enemy of the beneficial properties of the product is light. Honey in any case can not be stored on the windowsill, in direct sunlight. Even diffused light can affect a product that is held in a transparent glass container. Bright lighting destroys all enzymes and valuable components in a natural medicine for a couple of days. Therefore, the product must be stored in a dark cool place. An important factor is the humidity. This indicator should not exceed 75%. Of course, different honey withstands various storage conditions. Acacia perfectly tolerates moisture, and padevy deteriorates at a humidity of more than 60%. However, if the necessary conditions are not observed, the product quickly sours.
So, how to store honey properly? A dry, clean, dark and cool place is suitable for him, the humidity in which does not exceed 60%. For example, an enclosed kitchen cupboard or a tidy pantry.
How to store honey in the refrigerator? To do this, you must follow some rules.
- First, the air temperature should not exceed +5. +10 degrees. For refrigeration tanks, this is the usual standard temperature setting.
- Secondly, in the refrigerator you need to maintain a certain level of humidity. If it is equipped with a dry freeze function, then nothing to worry about. Otherwise, you should periodically wipe the walls of the refrigerator from excessive moisture.
- Thirdly, the dishes in which honey is stored must be hermetically sealed. Otherwise, the product will absorb the smell of moisture and food.
Thus, honey can be stored in the refrigerator. However, for this you need to strictly observe all the above conditions.
Storage in the cellar
How to store honey in the cellar? For residents of the private sector, this issue is particularly relevant. The level of humidity and temperature in ordinary cellars is far from those necessary for the storage of natural medicines. Therefore, a bee product cannot be stored, for example, in a glass jar. The most suitable container for storing honey in the cellar will serve as a wooden barrel, covered with wax from the inside. Honey should be protected from foreign odors. If pickles, fish, sauerkraut or cheeses are in the cellar, it is better to hide the treat in another place, for example, in a dark and dry pantry. In no case should an open container with honey stand close to sugar, salt and cereals. Thanks to these hygroscopic substances, the fermentation process of the bee product is enhanced.
What kind of container is better to store honey
Most often, fans of bee treats have a question: “In which containers is it better to keep honey?” First of all, the dishes in which the product is stored must be completely sealed so that no other odors and moisture get into it. A glass bank that fits tightly with a metal or plastic lid will do. The tank must be clean and dry. In addition, you should not add a fresh portion of honey to the old, already lying down product, as this will start the process of fermentation of bee treats.
What other dishes can be used to store honey? Suitable wooden packaging of linden, willow, alder or birch. It is not necessary to keep the product in conifers barrels because of their strong natural flavor. Honey is beautifully stored in flasks and cans of aluminum or stainless steel, designed, for example, for milk products. You can use ceramic vessels, covered with glaze, and clay containers. Tin jars with special food lacquer applied on them, as well as aluminum foil cups, are suitable for storing honey.
What can not be stored honey
In no case can a bee product be kept in lead, copper or galvanized containers, as the acid contained in honey reacts with the metal and forms toxic substances. Iron cookware is also not suitable for use. When interacting with the active substances found in honey, it undergoes corrosion, due to which the product not only loses all its beneficial and aromatic properties, but also acquires a metallic taste and a disgusting chemical smell.
To date, plastic containers - the most popular container for storing bee treats. It is convenient, easy and inexpensive. However, it should be remembered that such dishes must be certified. How long can honey be stored in plastic containers? Experts say that no more than a year. The fact is that the bee product very actively interacts with other substances and is able to "pull" chemicals from plastic. Therefore, to keep honey in non-food plastic containers in any case impossible.
Clay pot - this is perhaps the ideal utensils for storing honey. Beekeepers say that no matter how much you keep a bee treat in such a container, it will always be useful and tasty. This is due to the natural properties of clay. It does not deteriorate and does not oxidize, does not enter into a chemical reaction with other materials, does not let the sun's rays through, and even maintains the optimum temperature. Therefore, such an active substance, like bee honey, feels great in pottery and has been stored in it for decades. However, it should be remembered that the container in which the product is stored must be hermetically sealed.
Honeycombs are the packaging in which honey is stored in natural conditions. Not only the bee treat itself has useful qualities, but also the wax from which the honeycomb is made. Moreover, some small particles, but also very valuable for health, are not found in the squeezed honey, but are contained in this natural packaging created by bees. Therefore, the question of how to store honey in comb, is essential.
- Firstly, the temperature should be observed - from +3 to +10 degrees Celsius.
- Secondly, fruit and vegetables, especially bananas, should not be kept near the product. Their aroma is for honey in comb, in fact, a gas that affects its composition and natural properties.
- Thirdly, it is necessary to monitor a certain level of humidity. It should be maintained at 60%. A higher index will lead to honeycomb deacidification, a smaller one - to the appearance of moths or mold.
It is best to wrap honey in honeycombs in cling film and store in a cool, dark and dry place.
How to keep honey liquid
Some believe that liquid honey is the most fresh and healthy product. This statement is only partly true. Indeed, freshly pumped honey is liquid, transparent and light. However, immediately after extraction from the honeycomb, it becomes dark and cloudy, as the natural process of honey crystallization begins. If, during storage, the bee product was divided into a liquid and thick substance, it means that it was removed from the framework too early, it was immature, with a lot of water. This fact does not affect the shelf life and valuable properties of honey. If after long storage, in winter, the product remains liquid - this is a clear sign of falsification. By this time, real honey should already crystallize. If it has become hard and thick, then it can be melted in a water bath. To do this, put the container with honey in a saucepan with hot water and heat until it diverges into a more viscous consistency. It should be remembered that when heated to a temperature of more than 37-40 degrees, the product completely loses all its useful properties. Therefore, to heat the honey on an open fire is impossible.
Where to store honey at home: we select a place
For a start, it is important to determine the part of the apartment where it will be convenient and favorable for this product to store honey at home. I recommend choosing it according to the following principles:
- Dark. Honey "does not like" the direct rays of the sun, under the influence of which this product loses its healing properties. After standing for several days on the windowsill or balcony, the honey turns into an ordinary mixture of carbohydrates.
- Dry. Excessive moisture can lead to souring of honey and lowering its value due to an increase in the level of liquid in the product. The optimum humidity in which storage of the product is acceptable is 60 to 80 percent.
- Lack of strong odors. I don’t recommend to keep honey in close proximity with strong-smelling materials and food, because it absorbs the surrounding flavors of both products and building and paintwork materials extremely quickly.
- Cool. The temperature regime is also very important when choosing a place where honey will be stored.
The storage conditions given are suitable for premises such as a cellar or a storeroom. However, most often they are absent, and it is necessary to solve the problem: how to store honey in an apartment. Perfect for this purpose:
- kitchen cabinets remote from heat sources (stoves and batteries),
- pedestal on the balcony or loggia,
I am often sent letters where readers ask if honey can be stored in the refrigerator. I can say that this is the most preferable place in a city apartment, where a stable temperature and humidity are maintained, especially if a refrigerator with a dry freezing system. The main thing is that the container with honey is tightly closed, which will exclude the saturation of the product with foreign smells of food.
Favorable temperature for honey in flat conditions
For more than 12 years of beekeeping experience, I can confidently state that honey is preserved in a hive more qualitatively and longer than anything else. Due to the vital activity of bees, an optimum internal temperature of +5 to +15 degrees is achieved. In winter, the optimum temperature indicators are provided by the bee “house” warming, in the summer - due to active ventilation from insect wings.
Understanding the question at what temperature to store honey, you should know its boundary values:
- the minimum figure should not be less than +5 degrees,
- maximum should not exceed +45 degrees.
Starting from these values, it is favorable to store bee products at +5 ... +20 degrees. Excessive heating of the medicinal product leads to its darkening and the emergence of a specific taste with bitterness. But most importantly, when vitamins and beneficial trace elements begin to deteriorate when overheated, they form toxic substances that are harmful to the human body.
Due to this reaction of honey in an excessively warm environment, experienced beekeepers do not recommend putting honey in too warm tea or dough for baking. The liquid in which you can dissolve honey should not be hotter than 25 degrees. The best solution for tea with honey can be using this product while drinking with a drink.
Low temperatures also contribute to changes in the structure and properties of honey. Under the influence of excessive cold, honey also changes its structure and color, acquiring a light shade and a firm consistency. Due to the poor exposure to low temperatures, I’d always recommend to keep the cold from affecting this product, although it’s not cause serious loss of beneficial qualities of honey.
Naturally, glassware is most often used for the storage and use of honey in the conditions of houses and apartments. Glass itself is a neutral material that does not react and does not emit toxic elements. The only disadvantage of glassware is the transmission of sunlight. Therefore, it is worthwhile to give preference to dark glass, which contributes to minimal penetration of the rays to honey.
Storage of honey in an apartment is also possible in wooden or metal utensils. The advantage of wooden packaging is that the honey in such dishes acquires a special aroma and longer stores all the beneficial substances contained in it. However, one should not resort to storing honey in wooden dishes made from certain tree species that produce essential oils (coniferous, etc.). Best for this purpose suitable beech, birch or linden.
For storage of large volumes of honey, beekeepers often use stainless steel metal barrels. However, most metals oxidize over time, which can cause the penetration into the honey of oxides dangerous for the human body and subsequent poisoning. It is important to choose high-quality metal containers without the content of alloys of copper, zinc and lead.
In general, the shelf life of honey in glass containers is much longer than in plastic, wood and metal. That is why she should give preference in the selection of containers for honey for long-term storage.
Honey storage in honeycombs: basic rules and features
Honey comb is a special delicacy that can also be stored in apartment conditions. This useful and nutritious product requires special attention, as it is based on beeswax. Storage conditions of honey are the same as for liquid.
Usually, when answering the question “where to store honey in honeycombs,” I recommend using clean glass jars that have previously undergone heat treatment (sterilization). Разрезанные на небольшие части соты, свободно входящие в отверстие банки, следует аккуратно сложить на дно емкости и плотно закрыть чистой крышкой. Данный метод позволяет меду в сотах хранится не более 1 года.
Для увеличения срока хранения сот следует их залить в чистой таре свежим жидким медом и запечатать расплавленным воском. A lid with tight edges is additionally worn on top. The shelf life in this way can be more than 10 years.
If you know at what temperature honey should be stored, this is already half the success on the way to long-term storage of the product without losing its beneficial properties. The experience of beekeepers dictates the optimum temperature of 10 ° C and humidity of 60%. GOST also allows the temperature to rise to 20 ° C. To understand why the microclimate is so important, it’s enough to study five facts, what happens with nectar when deviating from normal storage conditions:
- temperature below –6 ° C - contributes to the acceleration of the crystallization process. Nectar can become so hard that it will be difficult to get it out of the jar with a spoon,
- temperature above + 20 ° C - the product of beekeeping loses a significant part of the vitamins,
- frequent temperature changes - leads to uneven crystallization,
- low humidity - honey may bloom in a room with dry air,
- high humidity - can cause fermentation.
Requirements for the room
In addition to temperature and humidity, there are a number of requirements in which conditions it is better to store honey. The most significant can be considered three points.
- Smells. The container with nectar should not be stored near products or substances that emit strong odors. Because of them, the product of beekeeping may lose its flavor and aroma. This condition does not apply to hermetic packaging.
- Shine. Keep a container of nectar in a dark place. If the bank stays in the sunlight for two days, the delicacy will turn into a sweet pacifier that does not carry a person a drop of benefit.
- Ventilation. It is important that the room is well ventilated. If you store nectar in a windowless pantry, leave the door open for a few hours every day to allow air to circulate.
In what can ...
In the following tableware, honey can be stored for a long time and not lose its taste and useful properties:
- aluminum can,
- glass jar,
- earthenware glazed,
- waxed paper bags and cups,
- birch barrels.
How to save a treat in comb: 5 rules
For a city dweller, a beekeeping product in honeycombs is a real exotic. In addition, such a product is much more useful than the usual from a can, because when opening a seal, a delicacy instantly loses up to 15% of vitamins. Keeping honey in honeycombs in an apartment is not easy, but it is possible if you follow five rules.
- Humidity level The normal range of humidity in the premises is 40-60%. If the indicator rises above this mark, nectar will limp, and if lower, it will become moldy.
- Optimum temperature. Should be 3-10 ° C. These are ideal conditions under which the product will remain useful for at least a year.
- Neighborhood with fruit. Keep the honeycomb away from fresh fruit. They emit a special gas, which can lead to damage to the product of beekeeping. In this regard, bananas are particularly dangerous.
- Fragmentation. Judging by the reviews, it is more convenient to store honeycombs, if cut into fragments. They must be placed in containers with lids.
- Tightness. It is permissible to store nectar in honeycombs only if they are well sealed. Otherwise, it will leak out and may get a sour smell.
Is it possible to avoid crystallization
The only way how to store honey, so as not to be candied - in honeycombs. Pumped out the same product inevitably crystallizes. By creating ideal storage conditions for the delicacy, you will only delay the change in texture. But this is not a reason for frustration. On the contrary, crystallization is a sign of naturalness and high quality. If May honey remains liquid for more than four months, it calls into question its quality, naturalness and safety.
The period of crystallization of the treat also depends on the variety. For example, linden honey turns into a granular mass a couple of months after pumping. Sunflower, mustard, dandelion and buckwheat honey retains its liquid state for no more than a month. Sufficient liquid nectar is obtained from clover and acacia. Up to three months, it will remain transparent and fluid. The exception to the rule can be considered products from Ivan-tea and fireweed. With proper storage, they can retain the original physical properties up to two years.
The honey found in the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun made a real sensation in the scientific world. For more than 3,000 years he has not lost his properties. Nectar was liquid, transparent, had a wonderful floral scent. Is this not proof that the beekeeping product has an unlimited shelf life? It is only important to know how to properly store honey.
Where better to store honey
There are many options for storing honey. Most honey lovers keep it at home in the fridge or on the balcony. If possible, it is sealed and put in the cellar. And the beekeepers keep honey comb and gradually pump it out. Therefore, the location of honey storage depends on the technical capabilities of its owner.
Are apartment storage conditions suitable?
In the apartment you can find several suitable places for honey: on the balcony, in the lockers or in the refrigerator. The main thing to consider is that the conditions are the most appropriate.
Room conditions are not the best choice, so if the room temperature exceeds 20 ° C, it is better to put honey in the fridge. There and the temperature is suitable and the humidity is optimal.
Many put honey on the balcony or loggia. There are some downsides. First, in the summer there is a lot of sun, and it destroys the vitamin composition of honey. Secondly, in the fall, due to frequent rains, the moisture level greatly exceeds the norm, which also affects the shelf life. Only the winter period remains, but then the honey will have to be defrosted before consumption.
Tip! If the balcony is glazed, then it may well be suitable for storing honey.
Alternative honey packaging options
Honey is successfully stored in enamel, earthenware and wooden containers. But such packaging is very rare. But in aluminum, galvanized or copper vessels honey can not be kept. Harmful compounds of heavy metals can pass into the composition of honey.
Tip! If you are going to store honey in wooden barrels, only willow is suitable as a raw material for containers. Coniferous or oak boards spoil the taste of honey.
Observance of elementary storage rules will allow you to enjoy delicious and fresh honey throughout the year. And in order not to worry about the safety of this product, you should not buy honey in large quantities.
Before you figure out how to properly store honey in an apartment, you should set a valid time limit. There is a popular belief that stocks should be spent within a year, otherwise there will be no benefit from this product. Moreover, many argue that after 12 months, honey ceases to be a medicine, and may be harmful to health.
In fact, this is nothing more than a myth. Of course, after a year the color, texture and flavor will change. However, if you know how to properly store honey in an apartment, even after 2 or more years it will retain its properties. This can be confirmed by the fact that during one of the archeological excavations an ancient vessel with a viscous golden liquid was found. After appropriate analysis, it turned out that it was honey, which after several centuries was still usable.
Thus, the most important thing is to know how to store honey properly at home. The shelf life of the product will be virtually unlimited if you follow the rules clearly.
Answering the question of how to properly store honey in an apartment, it is important to determine the maximum allowable temperature. It is 40 degrees. Further chemical processes and reactions can begin, which are accompanied by the release of toxic substances.
It is clear that the city apartment does not warm up to such critical temperatures, but the standard 20-30 degrees do not provide the product with long-term preservation. Within a few months, the honey will begin to stratify and lose a significant portion of its beneficial properties.
The optimum temperature range varies from 6 degrees below zero to +10. Under these conditions, honey practically does not change its physical and chemical properties. With a strong decrease in temperature, the product may harden, which is also not very good.
Choosing a place: private house
To understand how to properly store honey in a house and city apartment, it is important to know the optimal characteristics of the room. With temperature everything is clear. Also, direct sunlight should not penetrate into it, and humidity should be at a minimum level (if the container is closed tightly, then the latter characteristic can be ignored).
Those who are lucky enough to live in their own home, often have to store food in the cellar. In terms of light and temperature conditions, this is just the perfect place. However, high humidity forces you to look for ways to seal the container. If the house has an unheated veranda, you can store honey in the winter. It is enough to protect it with a dense cloth from sunlight.
The choice of location: city apartment
Asking how to store honey at home, immediately exclude the kitchen, where at any time of the year the temperature is high. In winter time, residential heated rooms are not recommended.
The layout of many city apartments (the so-called Khrushchev) provides storage rooms. In small rooms without windows and batteries, sometimes the conditions are ideal in order to store honey for a long time.
If you do not have a pantry, a refrigerator will be an ideal place to store honey. Here the product is not afraid of any temperature drops, nor humidity, nor the sun's rays. It is better to take the lower shelves under the honey (away from the freezer).
As for the balcony or loggia, this is probably the most vulnerable place in the apartment (even if there is glazing). It's too hot in summer and too cold in winter. In addition, when seasonal rains begin, the level of humidity increases dramatically.
How to store honey and what should it contain?
Properly chosen container is the most important condition for long-term storage of honey with preservation of its beneficial properties and taste. So, the following options are valid:
- for short storage (up to 3 months) a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid is suitable,
- glass jars are an ideal option, because the material does not enter into any chemical reactions with the product itself (it is recommended to sterilize the container before use, and also take care of sealing),
- wooden or clay kegs will help to preserve the properties of honey and give it an unusual aroma (the main thing is that the material should not be treated with aggressive chemicals).
Never store honey in copper or galvanized containers. After a short time, the product and the metal enter into a chemical reaction, which results in the release of toxic substances. Even when buying honey, be careful if you pour it out of metal containers (ask what alloy it is made of).
The advantages of honey storage in honeycombs
There are many opinions on how to store honey at home correctly. The methods are quite numerous. But any beekeeper will tell you that it is best to store honey in comb. There are several reasons:
- There is a large amount of vitamins that can be neutralized during the pumping process,
- wax itself contains many beneficial substances
- sealed honeycombs are absolutely sterile, so you can be completely sure that there are no bacteria and germs (by the way, honey is stored longer),
- Body can be chewed periodically, thereby having a beneficial effect on the health of the oral cavity, as well as the gastrointestinal tract.
How to avoid sugaring?
How to store honey at home, so that it does not become sweet? This method, perhaps, has not yet been invented. Considering how much sugar is contained in honey, after a while, crystals will begin to form in it. However, if you want it to remain liquid as long as possible, buy the product in comb. Cut them, arrange them in jars and enjoy the fresh honey.
The speed of honey sugar is largely dependent on the conditions of its storage. If all requirements are met, and the temperature remains constant, you will be able to enjoy a transparent and liquid beekeeping product for a long time. Nevertheless, this way you can only delay sugaring, but not avoid it.
You can periodically heat the jars of honey. For this, a water bath is best suited (the main thing is that the surface of the container should not have direct contact with fire). At the same time the temperature of the honey should not exceed 35-40 degrees. In addition, heat treatment significantly reduces the beneficial properties.
Honey is important to keep properly. Nevertheless, even the observance of all conditions does not guarantee that after a while there will be no problem with the product. So, the most common of them is a bundle. If you see that the thick part of the honey has settled, and the liquid has remained at the top, this does not mean that the reason is in the temperature regime. Most likely, the honey was pumped out of the honeycomb, not waiting for it to mature. But it will not affect the taste and medicinal properties of the product. Boldly mix the honey and eat.
A much more serious problem is the appearance of white foam on the surface of honey. If such a nuisance occurred soon after the purchase of honey, then, most likely, it was not carefully filtered. Such a product does not pose any health hazard. Moreover, this foam, which causes alertness, is incredibly beneficial to health.
The situation is completely different with honey, which is stored for a long period of time. Most likely, you did not close the container tightly enough, and moisture got into it. In this case, the foam indicates fermentation, and therefore it is forbidden to eat such a product. However, in order not to throw it away, you can use such honey to make baking a pleasant aroma.
Honey is tasty and healthy. It is not surprising that people always want to have a supply of this delicacy at home. Nevertheless, not everyone knows how to properly store honey in an apartment. Tips are so numerous that they can be confused. Based on the foregoing, the following theses can be distinguished:
- The optimal storage temperature of this product ranges from -6 to +10 degrees,
- in a city apartment, honey is best stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator or in the pantry, and if it’s a private house, in the cellar,
- ideal sterile containers are clean sterile glass jars, tightly closed with a lid,
- To avoid quick sugar, it is recommended to store honey in honeycombs (this can be a whole frame or pieces of honeycomb, laid out in banks).
Honey is a rather capricious storage product. Violation of the rules and rules of storage can lead not only to the loss of taste and useful qualities, but even to the development of toxic substances. Therefore, if you are not confident in your knowledge about how to store honey at home, purchase it in small quantities that will be quickly consumed.