Raw Honey has not been definitively defined by any government or world agency, the National Honey Board, or any Beekeeping Organization. Therefore there is some confusion and a bit of hoodwinking of the public on raw honey sales.
First let us define raw honey as we sell it: Raw Honey is honey that has not been heated above the ambient temperature outside the beehive. Arizona 117°, Florida 102°, Washington 95°, Utah 105°, are some ambient temperatures on record. The highest known ambient temperature was 120° F in Pad Idan, Pakistan, in the shade. Honey began to seep out of the combs onto the ground as the comb started to melt. As the temperature cooled the honey was extracted and found to be perfect, with natural enzymes intact. Therefore we have adopted a practice of process that does not exceed 120° throughout collection, extraction, straining and bottling. This is TRUE RAW HONEY.
Straining: Raw honey is strained through cheesecloth very slowly as the viscosity of honey lower than 120°F does not allow rapid movement of the honey. As a result of this process YOU WILL see grains of pollen mixed in the honey. (NOTE: MOST honey processors use honey heated to 160°F so that they can FILTER the honey down to 10 microns under high pressure and accomplish pasteurization.)
Because of the low heat process of our RAW HONEY, it is not pasteurized. There are yeast spores present in every environment, even the Arctic. Under ideal conditions these yeast spores could cause unpasteurized honey to ferment.
Over 120° F, all foods begin to cook. For every degree increased in heat there is a greater loss of benificial enzymes and nutrients. Most honey processors that sell “raw honey” heat their honey to 140°, some 145° for one great reason; faster processing and finer filtration. ALL RAW HONEY IS NOT EQUAL! If fact these high heat treatments produce cooked honey that is devoid of live enzymes and should no longer be qualified as “raw honey”.
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