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Health Tip

Does the Pasteurization of Honey Take Out the Antioxidants?

Honey is a thick sweetened liquid that is obtained from the nectar of flowers and is a rich source of antioxidants. The antioxidants found in honey have a number of benefits like antibacterial, antiviral as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps in protecting against a number of chronic diseases. However when the honey is pasteurized, the antioxidants may alter in some cases. This would be discussed in detail.

The Antioxidants Found in Honey

The antioxidants found in honey are dependent on several factors:

  1. The species of bees
  2. Season
  3. The flower varieties
  4. The processing method etc.

Depending on all these above factors, the antioxidant may range from about 55 to 500milligrams of antioxidants per kg of honey. It is believed that the buckwheat honey contains the highest amount of antioxidant variety. It is as much as the oxidants found in fruits and vegetables though the serving size of honey would be smaller.

The Pasteurization Process

Honey is sold in both raw as well as in pasteurized form. The pasteurization is performed in order to prevent the honey from crystal formation as well as to destroy the harmful microorganisms. When this pasteurization process takes places there is a sort of browning caused during the process, which is known as Maillard reaction. This process causes the loss in the amount of natural honey antioxidants.

The pasteurization process does decrease the amount of antioxidant to some cases but it does not take out the antioxidants completely. A research was performed on the buckwheat honey containing the maximum number and variety of antioxidants. It was found that after the pasteurization process, one third of the antioxidants were left behind. However when this pasteurized honey was kept for about six months the antioxidants of the raw and the pasteurized wheat buck honey were found to be similar.

Keep it Stored

So, the experiment derived the conclusion that the pasteurized honey is absolutely safe to use way better than the raw honey as it is safe from other harmful microorganism. And the antioxidants become the same when it is stored for six months. So make sure when the honey is pasteurized, it is kept stored for six months before it is sold so that it contains all the antioxidants though there may be some alterations still left.

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