CONCERNED nutritionists are asking what can be considered ‘real’ honey and what cannot, a question at the heart of the raw versus processed honey debate.
If honey is defined as the product bees actually produce, a US study showed that more than three-fourths of the honey sold in US grocery stores cannot be called honey because the pollen is filtered out.
The World Health Organisation and others warn that without pollen, it is impossible to determine the product’s origin, making it impossible to verify if the honey came from safe, legitimate sources.
Processed honey is falsified by mixing it with glucose syrup, inverted sugar solutions and water, along with dye, flavours and other enhancers. Raw honey, on the other hand, is not heat-treated and purified, meaning it retains all pollen with its enzymes and antioxidants, affording it the lauded antibacterial properties. Even so, manuka is the only honey that is widely acknowledged for proven medicinal benefits.