O nly good equipped laboratory with up-to-date apparatuses for chemical analysis of honey can give full answer for this difficult question. Organoleptic estimation of honey may be following: natural flower honey doesnt dissolve in your mouth as sugar, but it melts. It has soft, delicate or well-defined aroma, which may be specific for separate plants. Sometimes honey may have a bit harsh and even bitterish taste and attractive odour, which reminds the flowers, from which honey was collected. The colour of honey may be gold-yellow, bright-yellow, bright-brown, brown, amber. Sometimes it may be transparent, dark or reddish-black.
The consistence of honey after its gathering is thick. It may stay in such condition during 1-1,5 monthes. Then honey begins to thicken (crystallize) and turn into small-grain, large-grain doughy or even solid mass. And some customers, who have a little notion about honey characteristics, are wrong when say that crystallized honey is artificial.honey graining during storage is normal occurrence. That is why you shouldn't try to find liquid honey in late autumn or in winter time. As for some adulterants, which may be added to honey by beekeepers, there are few ways which help to determine these adulterants:
- Take into the small vial a sample of honey, add d.water and solve honey. In such way you can see foreign materials which will be in settling or at the surface.
- Adulterants of chalk-stone may be found if some organic acid or vinegar is added to honey, which is diluted by d.water. If there are some adulterants of chalk-stone in honey, the mixture will be boiled, because carbon dioxide will be evolved.
- To finds adulterants of flour or starch, which may be added to honey to create the illusion of crystallization, you need to add to boiled and cooled solution of honey few drops of solution of iodic potassium. If the colour of this new solution become blue, there is this kind of adulterants in honey.
- The adulterants of starch syrup may be determined by spirit of ammonia, which is added to honey sample by drops. Previously the honey is diluted in d.water in ratio 1:2.if there is starch syrup in testing solution, the colour of solution will be white and there is a brown setting. The honey with adulterants of starch syrup is heavy, thick and does not crystallized during its storage.
- To identify the adulterants of creek valley in honey, you should add to the sample of honey (which is solved by d.water in equal proportion) water solution of lime. It must be in 2 times lager than solution honey with d.water. Then this new solution is mixed and warmed to boiling. If there are any adulterants of creek valley in honey the brown sludge flocks appear. If you haven't lime solution you can identify creek valley in honey by wine spirit. For this procedure you need to add in tube 1 mole of water solution of honey ( 1 portion of honey and 2 portions of d/water) and mix this solution with 10 mole of wine spirit (96%). The honey with adulterants of creek valley becomes turbid with milky colour. The honey fall becomes turbid with sludge flocks.
- To make sure the buyer that honey is natural some beekeepers may propose to put in one drop of honey the chemical pencil. This pencil doesn't solve in natural honey. Another beekeepers (with the same purpose) propose to draw the lines by chemical pencil on white sheet of paper which is covered by honey. If the honey is natural these lines remains without changes; if the honey is artificial, the lines of chemical pencil vanish. But the possibility of getting true results is very little. The results with usage of chemical pencil were tested by many by many laboratories and were not confirmed. So you cannot identify the origin of honey with the help of chemical pencil.