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    Crystallization is a natural attribute of pure, raw, unfiltered honey. It does not affect its quality and nutritional value, only its external features, such as color and texture. A crystallized honey is, by no means, spoiled, adulterated, diluted or no longer fit for consumption.

    The process of crystallization actually preserves honey’s flavor and quality characteristics.
    Crystallization is a natural, spontaneous and uncontrolled process, with the exception of spruce honey, by which honey turns from a liquid to semi-solid state with granular composition. Specifically, glucose sugar molecules separate from water and align into orderly arrangements, known as crystals. Factors that determine crystallization are: nectar source collected by the bees (the composition ratio of glucose to fructose), humidity (water composition), presence of pollen grains, pieces of beeswax, seed crystals, propolis and storage temperature. Generally, the higher the glucose and the lower the water content of honey, the faster the crystallization. Raw and unfiltered honey crystallizes faster, as the minute particles it contains serve as nuclei for crystallization.
    Cold temperatures are ideal for crystal formation and accelerate the process of crystallization. Honey crystallization is more rapid around 10-18ᵒC (50-64ᵒF). Refrigerator temperatures accelerate the process of crystallization.
    Raw honeys crystallize differently depending on their composition. If honey crystallizes uniformly through the jar, it can remain in this form for years without losing any of its nutritional value. If honey, however, partially crystallizes, it may turn soar very soon. In that case, you need to re-liquefy crystallized honey.
    Hot Water Bath (Bain Marie): Crystallized honey can be brought back to liquid consistency by gently heating it in a hot water bath (Bain Marie), without losing any of its nutritional value. Heating should be applied indirectly, not by direct flame to the container. It is best to heat it at 35-40ᵒC (104ᵒF) to avoid overheating. Overheating honey for any period of time destroys its taste, aroma and nutrients.
    Heat a saucepan filled with enough water to reach the level of honey in the jar to 35-40ᵒC (95-104ᵒF). Then, remove it from the heat or turn off the heat. Take the lid off of the honey jar and immerse the jar in the water. Let it stand out for 20-30 minutes. The heat will slowly dissolve the glucose crystals, becoming liquid again. Stir occasionally to even the heat throughout the honey, until the granules have dissolved. Repeat process, if needed. Remove the jar from the water bath, when honey becomes liquid again.

    Greek Honey and Apiculture

    The art of beekeeping is practiced systemically in Greece by the 15th century B.C. Honey was produced from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods and beekeeping around Athens was so widespread that Solon passed a law about it: “He who sets up hives of bees must put them 91 meters (300 feet) away from those already installed by another”.

    Greece has the ideal conditions for apiculture and is a country with long tradition and expertise in beekeeping. Greece has more bee hives per acre than any other country in Europe, and along with Spain, the greatest number of professional beekeepers. Greek honey is considered to be one of the finest in the world. It receives high recognition worldwide due to its high quality, exceptional flavor and excellent aroma.

    Earth scientists and botanists consider Greece to have the richest flora in the Mediterranean basin, with more than 7,500 different species of plants, 850 of which are found exclusively in this country. The country’s unique environmental and geographic characteristics with long periods of sunshine favor the existence of a great variety of wild flowers, aromatic herbs, bushes and coniferous trees that are responsible for the distinctive and unique characteristics of Greek honey. More than 100 different plants contribute to its final composition. In addition, the nomadic way of Greek beekeeping, which is taking advantage of the different vegetative cycles in different regions, contributes to these unique qualities of Greek honey. Depending on the season, Greek beekeepers move their hives across the country over long distances, looking for concentrated areas of blossoming wild flowers and aromatic herbs or forests, rich in coniferous trees, to obtain honey with the purest flavor. Rich density, various distinctive flavors, exceptional aromas and unique organoleptic characteristics distinguish Greek honey and make it exceptional.
    Generally, Greek honey is divided into two major categories: blossom or flower honey, produced from the nectar of wild flowers and aromatic herbs and honeydew honey, produced from coniferous trees. If any of the floral or tree variety dominates, then honey will have that specific flavor. Greece is the only European country that has identified and legislated physiochemical, microscopic and sensory characteristics of 8 types of honey (pine, spruce, chestnut, heather, thyme, orange, cotton and sunflower). Certain honey varieties produced in Greece are unique, rare and cannot be found anywhere in the world, such as thyme, pine and spruce honey. Constant quality control by authorities and beekeepers ensures its purity and authenticity and results in Greek honey being classified as one of the safest products.
    Greek honey acts as a natural remedy for many ailments and helps strengthen the immune system. Specialists recommend consuming honey at breakfast, as it is a great energy booster for kids, athletes, elders and working people of all ages. One spoonful of honey contains 64 calories. The recommended quantity is 1-3 spoonful (or more) per day for healthy adults.

    Health Benefits of Honey

    Honey is considered a “functional food”, meaning it is a natural food with health benefits:

    • Natural Energy Source: Honey has been called the “perfect running fuel”. It provides an easily absorbed supply of energy in the form of liver glucose, making it ideal for energetic morning starts and as a pre- and post-exercise energy source. Studies have shown honey to be one of the best choices of carbohydrate to consume right before exercise for fueling or just after exercise for recovery. It is a great tonic to all body cells for weakness, anemia, anorexia, fever, sickness and surgery recovery.
    • Antioxidant Powerhouse: Studies have shown that a daily dose of raw honey promotes health and acts as a preventative against a number of debilitating diseases. Honey contains varying concentrations of polyphenols, powerful disease-fighting antioxidants in the blood that block free radicals activity in the body, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) and reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
    • Memory Booster: Honey is loaded with polyphenols that help prevent cognitive decline or dementia and improve concentration, learning and memory deficits. It enhances the brain’s cholinergic system and circulation, preventing cellular damage and loss within the brain. Studies have shown that honey can improve both short- and long-term memory in menopausal and post-menopausal women.
    • Cardiovascular Protector: Honey builds the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood, improves blood circulation, has a protective effect against high blood pressure, reduces the formation of plaques and raises red and white blood cell count. It also regulates cholesterol levels, by increasing good cholesterol levels. Polyphenols in honey reduce the risk of cardiac disease.
    • Gastrointestinal Healer: Honey is rich in probiotic or friendly bacteria, helping the function of gastrointestinal system and aiding in digestion. Being a mild laxative, it also reduces constipation, bloating and gas. Honey also improves the health of gut bacteria, reduces the toxic effects in the gut of mycotoxins produced by fungi and combats food-borne pathogens. Its alkalinity has been proved to be a great protection means against stomach and small intestine ulcers.
    • Antibacterial action: A research study of Greek Ministry of Health evaluated and supported the strong antibacterial action of Greek honey at 6 different bacteria being resistant to antibiotics and fungus. A study on the chemical characteristics of Greek honey proved honey’ strong antibacterial action against bacteria of oral cavity. It has been proved that honey consumption does not favor the development of bacteria that cause dental carries.
    • Wound, Burn and Ulcer Healer: Honey is a natural antibacterial with anti-infectious properties and wound-healing effects. It releases antiseptic hydrogen peroxide which acts as an antimicrobial agent, preventing bacteria growth. In wounds and especially burns, early application of honey has been found to destroy the free radicals, cut the risk of scarring and contractures and increase the healing rate.Honey also reduces the size, pain and odor of problematic skin ulcers.
    • Skin Cleansing and Moisturizing Agent: Honey deeply cleans the skin, absorbs the impurities from the skin pores, fights acne and dark spots, improves wrinkles and fine lines, soothes dry, irritated and sensitive skin areas and softens cracked lips.
    • Sleep Promoter: Raw honey is a natural sleep aid, promoting restorative sleep in two ways. Consuming honey before bedtime restocks the liver’s glucose supply and prevents the brain from triggering a crisis search for fuel, which can induce waking up. Additionally, eating raw honey fosters the release of melatonin and tryptophan in the brain, responsible for promoting sleep.
    • Pollen Allergies Alleviator: Raw honey contains bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections, provide natural allergy relief and boost overall immunity. Some people say that a daily tablespoon of honey can actually act as an allergy shot and reduce allergy symptoms, by helping the body to gradually build up a natural immunity to allergies.
    • Cough Suppressant: Honey helps alleviate cough by acting as a protective film over the throat, soothing the nerve endings that protect it. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) gives credence to honey as a demulcent, something that relieves irritation or inflammation.

    In no case, the information provided in our web page can substitute Medical-Scientific advice or be used in any way for self-therapy. Information

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