The Wide World of Honey

Anything that is made by a bunch of mindless insects probably isn't all that fascinating, right? Well although honey is made by millions of swarming insects using a very "low tech" process, it remains one of the most amazing foods on our palette. In fact, scientists are still trying to determine even more uses for this wonder food to this very day.

Honey's life-enhancing properties and its position of a wonder food is not by any chance our discovery. We are not the first to know its benefits. There were Romans who paid their taxes through pure honey rather than gold. This did not happen in the entire 1,000-year regime of Roman empire but is still a fact.

The history of humans and honey predates even the mighty Roman Empire. Paintings have been found in caves dating back over 9,000 years that have honey depicted in them. This is not really surprising since honey was probably the only means of sweetening food up until the time of refined sugar and molasses.

The flowers, which the bees select to get the nectar from, are decisive in determining the taste and color of honey. Thus, you can easily get honey in different varieties having different taste and color. It is amazing to know that there are over 300 different types of honey available in the market.

Chemically speaking, honey is essentially naturally refined sugar. Although there is some variance, honey is basically: 38 percent fructose, 31 percent glucose, 1 percent sucrose, and 9 percent other sugars. The remainder is made up of vitamins, minerals, water, and various amino acids. It is in these vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that have scientists most interested in the possible medical benefits of honey.

Honey has been found with mummies that was still perfectly safe to eat. The reason why honey does not spoil (when properly stored) is due to the fact that it has bioactive agents that repel germs and bacteria. This is why honey can be used as a topical treatment for burns and other wounds because it prevents the injury from becoming infected. However, the bioactive agents begin to break down due to heat and light so honey must be stored in a cool, dark place in order to retain its bacteria-repelling properties.

The most common form of honey is liquid honey though honey is available in different varieties as well. The process of collecting honey involves removing it from the comb using a centrifuge, straining, or just simple gravity. You may want to filter it to remove all the impurities and air bubbles. If you strain it, chances are that the smaller particles and air bubbles will remain.

Honey remains the only naturally refined sugar available and it has been part of human history since before recorded time. Able to repel bacteria and still be edible after centuries of being buried with mummies, honey truly is a remarkable food. The benefits and secrets of honey are still being revealed by scientists today and there may still be some medical miracles waiting to be discovered in honey that could really benefit all of humanity. Even if not, honey is still one of the sweetest substances on earth that is just a treat to eat.

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About The Author, Gillian Stell
Gillian Stell is the chief editor for F honey, the #1 source on the internet for information about honey. For questions or comments about this article why not visit:
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