Updated: 16th February 2021
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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. Read more about crystallized 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:
21 U.S. Code § 342 - Adulterated food
A food shall be deemed to be adulterated — ....
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!
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.
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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