What's honey made of ? Composition of honey

honey composition benefits blog beekeepersHoney is said to be a food blessed by the gods. We already know that it is excellent for health and how it is made, but what is the secret of its composition? Here is the composition of one of the most complex products nature has to offer.

Complex chemistry

Honey is the result of a series of processes that influence its composition. Generally, honey is composed of water at 17%, carbohydrates at 79.5% and other particles at 3.5%. These proportions may vary slightly from one honey to another, from one type of crop to another or even from one country to another.

Water, for example, contains more deuterium than ordinary water. As for carbohydrates, this predominant part contains about 85% monosaccharides, levulose, 1.5% sucrose, 7% maltose and traces of many other sugars (isomaltose, centose, maltotriose...). It is in fact an invert sugar, after a chemical reaction involving the enzyme invertase on sucrose and water.


Other less obvious components

Did you know that ashes are used in the composition of honey? Don't worry, they are only present in minute quantities. On the other hand, other mineral matter brings an obvious nutritional value to the final product of the hive: copper, magnesium, sodium, manganese, calcium and potassium but also about thirty trace elements.

Proteins are equivalent to 0.26% of the total weight and are mainly peptones, albumins, globulins and nucleoprotides. Among the batch of proteins, proline comes from the bee's salivary glands. Honey has an acidic pH ranging from 3.2 to 4.5 with an average of 3.9. In addition, honey contains gluconic acid from a bacterium present during its maturation, but also enzymes such as alpha-amylase, glucose oxidase and catalase, or B vitamins.


The influence of the environment

The proportions of the components of honey vary according to several factors, starting with the nature of the soil from which the plants produce their nectar. A soil rich in particular mineral matter will give more minerals in the finished product. Aromatic honeys, containing a detectable portion of aromatic compounds, come from aromatic plants such as thyme, fir, eucalyptus, rosemary or coriander .

Other undesirable compounds are included in the list but also serve as an indicator of the degree of pollution. For example, lead or cadmium exist in trace amounts and are considered pollutants. Another compound: HMF or hydroxymethylfurfural is found in old honeys and overheated honeys.


And the nutritional question?

Fraudsters are not to be outdone, a honey can sometimes contain abnormally more water or sugar. Therefore, the composition of honey must meet well-established criteria and must be able to be checked by chemical analyses. From an energy point of view, 100g of honey provides 304 calories, 82g of carbohydrates, 0.3g of protein, 52mg of potassium, 4mg of sodium but no fat.

Combining a sweetening power equal to that of sucrose and a higher nutritional value, with additional aromatic properties, honey is an excellent ingredient in the kitchen and a healthy companion in the medicine box. If you are not convinced, do not hesitate to visit the shop to test our different honeys.

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