Granulated Honey And Powdered Honey

Updated: 16th February 2021

wooden honey stick dripping with golden runny honey

You may see granulated honey or powdered honey on sale and have a few questions about these products.

For those who like the idea of a dried honey format which can be spooned and measured easily, this idea may be appealing. 

However, I would urge you to check the ingredients, and if convenience is something you are after, then I recommend you first think about it

  • Would you be buying dried honey, or something else - i.e. mostly sugar, with a tiny amount of honey added, and paying a disproportionately high price?  
  • Does the product contain ingredients you would not have expected? 
  • Are you even told what the product contains?

Are Granulated And Powdered Honey Products Pure Honey?

Food products cannot always be returned!  So, if you don't check the ingredients first you may not be happy with your purchase.

On the other hand, the addition of other ingredients may not bother you at all, but I suspect most people would like to be fully aware of what they are buying. 

Ingredients added to powdered and granulated honey

During my investigations, I have found products that were labelled as powdered or granulated honey, sometimes contained one or more of the following ingredients added or labelled as follows:

  • Wheat starch
  • Soy
  • refiners' syrup
  • Calcium stearate [anti-caking]
  • Soy lechithin
  • Sucrose (refined sugar)
  • Cane Juice 

I discovered product on Amazon.com where, upon close examination of the label, ‘Sucrose’ was the first listed ingredient - i.e. before honey.  However, the Amazon description was written in such a manner where ‘honey’ was the first ingredient listed, potentially implying that honey was the main ingredient when this was not the case! 


What's the price?

I have found some products labelled as granulated or powdered honey, were advertised at a surprisingly high price point, considering that when I checked, they actually contained very little honey. 

My view is that a higher price can be misleading, because it can imply ‘quality’.  If what you are buying is essentially sugar, what price is fair?  Would you be better off buying sugar, then adding a little honey as and when required?

My advice would be to check the price of such products, the labelling and how the price compares to genuine, natural honey.


Is it more convenient to use granulated / powdered honey?

That really depends, but powders and granulated formats are not necessarily more convenient than liquid honey -  there are many, many recipes using traditional honey in baking. 

However, it is true that using a spoon with a powdered ingredient is always going to be easier than handling liquid honey, but if you are happy with something that mostly consists of sugar, then why wouldn't you simply use sugar anyway?

I also want to point out that some people wrongly believe that liquid, set and crystallized honey will go off, and that powdered and "granulated honey" will be better because the assumption is that they won't.  If this is your reasoning, please note that honey does not go off! 

It may crystallize, but this is natural and does not negatively effect the honey.  You can read more about crystallized honey here.

What do the FDA say about the labelling of honey?

The FDA publish guidelines regarding the labelling of honey.  It's actually okay for suppliers to blend honey with other ingredients, as long as the product is properly labelled.  It seems that as long as the information is covered on the ingredients list, then it's fine.

Interestingly, they cite a particular case:

Case B: A product is labeled as “honey,” but it contains honey and another sweetener, such as sugar or corn syrup. The ingredient statement lists only “honey.”

Under section 402(b) of the FD&C Act, a food is adulterated if any valuable constituent has been omitted in whole or in part or if any substance has been added so as to reduce the quality of the food or make it appear to be better or of greater value than it is. In this case, the food is represented as honey when another sweetener (e.g., sugar or corn syrup) has been substituted in part for honey.

The food is then labeled as “honey.” Honey is considered a more valuable food than a food that contains both honey and sugar (likewise, a food that contains both honey and corn syrup).4

Therefore, we can take enforcement action against the food for being adulterated under section 402(b)(1) of the FD&C Act because a valuable constituent (honey) has been omitted in part, section 402(b)(2) of the FD&C Act because a substance (sugar or corn syrup) has been substituted in part, and/or under section 402(b)(4) of the FD&C Act because a substance (sugar or corn syrup) has been added to the honey so as to increase its bulk or weight or make it appear better or of greater value than it is.

Further, we may take additional enforcement action against the food for being misbranded under section 403 of the FD&C Act due to improper labeling of the food; i.e., the name of the food and the ingredient statement (see Case A and Q&A 5).

Ref: https://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/
guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/labelingnutrition/
ucm389501.htm

In addition:

21 U.S. Code § 342 - Adulterated food

A food shall be deemed to be adulterated — ....

(b) Absence, substitution, or addition of constituents

(1) If any valuable constituent has been in whole or in part omitted or abstracted therefrom; or (2) if any substance has been substituted wholly or in part therefor; or (3) if damage or inferiority has been concealed in any manner; or (4) if any substance has been added thereto or mixed or packed therewith so as to increase its bulk or weight, or reduce its quality or strength, or make it appear better or of greater value than it is.

Ref: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/21/342

As long as the added ingredients are included on the label, it seems it's okay - it's just that we have to double check before purchasing!

So what?

In my view, a product which is mostly Sucrose or any product not actually honey, should not be allowed to be labelled 'Honey'. 

Labelling a food that is primarily sugar or refiners' syrup as 'honey' does "make it appear to be of greater value than it is" in my opinion.

If you agree, I can only suggest you contact the FDA and report examples where you feel a product is named in a misleading fashion, and please spread the word to encourage people to check information.  

All products offered for sale, should in my view, be required to supply full information so that buyers can make informed decisions before purchasing.

Personally it annoys me.  There are very good beekeepers out there, taking care of their bees and working to produce quality honey products and trying to get a fair price.  When I see companies offering and labelling product as honey, when honey is not the main ingredient, this seems very unfair!








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