Honey is a magic liquid. It is the only food that never spoils. Archaeologists often found really old honey jars during their excavations of the ancient Egyptian tombs which are still good to eat. So, they have revealed an interesting fact about the honey – it never spoils, but the question is why?
The honey is made mostly of sugar and the sugar is hygroscopic which means that it contains a small amount of water in its natural state. The honey has a very low humidity. There is a small number of bacteria and microorganisms that can survive in an environment without humidity, for ex. in honey. This is one of the characteristics that provide to the longevity of honey. The fact that organisms can’t survive long enough in such an environment without humidity like the honey means that they don’t get the chance to spoil it.
The honey has e pH value between 3 and 4.5 and such an acidic environment kills anything that wants to grow inside. Hence, the bacteria and the other organisms that spoil the food, can’t survive in honey because of the harsh living conditions.
There are a few causes behind honey’s low moisture content:
Nectar is the first material the bees gather it to make the honey which has high humidity in its natural state. Bees play an important role in the removal of the moisture by flapping their wings to dry out the nectar. Bees get the nectar into the honey combs by vomiting it there. The bees have an enzyme in their stomach called glucose oxidase which is mixed with the nectar, splitting it into two products: gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The hydrogen peroxide protects the honey from spoiling.
The honey is surely a superfood and normally indestructible, so if you leave it unsealed in humid environment it will certainly spoil. But if the honey is well sealed and stored in a dry place, it can’t go bad and it will remain curative after a thousand years.