Raw Honey Shelf Life
Raw, Unpasteurized, & Unfiltered Goodness
At the Rare Hawaiian Honey Company we take great pride in the quality of our honey varieties. Not only are they organic, they are also in a completely raw state, meaning they’ve never been heated or filtered. Since the public is accustomed to how pasteurized honey behaves on the shelf, we find it necessary to educate our customers on the proper handling of truly raw honey. Pasteurized honey has been heated to over 160-200 degrees F before being pumped through a very fine filter after which it is placed into jars. Pasteurization and filtration kills and removes all the natural enzymes, yeast, pollen, propolis and wax. Pasteurization basically turns honey into a natural syrup that can live on your shelf at room temperature, indefinitely, without changing. Over a long period of time it may crystallize into a very grainy or hard texture.
Raw Honey Vs. Pasteurized Honey
Raw honey is very different from pasteurized honey in that the honey is simply extracted from the comb and put immediately into the jar. The honey is strained to remove larger pieces of wax and pollen, but the honey is never heated or filtered. Raw honey contains all of the natural enzymes, yeast, pollen, propolis and wax that are found in the hive, making a much more delicious and healthier product. Raw honey will not spoil, meaning it will not become unhealthy to consume, but the quality will degrade over time without proper storage. Our specialty is a unique variety of honey (Kiawe Honey) that naturally crystallizes into a creamy smooth
smooth texture. Bees make honey by dehydrating (removing water) from the nectar they gather from flowers. All pure honey contains moisture/water that remains after the bees complete the honey-making process. After crystallization a small amount of this water is left behind in the spaces between the microscopic crystals; you can’t see or taste this tiny bit of liquid, but it is there. Over time the naturally occurring yeast can begin to ferment that tiny bit of water and the honey quality will change. Although some people intentionally ferment their honey because they believe it increases the health benefits (reminiscent of Kombucha), we personally feel that our honey is best if it is prevented from fermenting.
Consumption & Storage
If the honey is eaten within 3-4 months the consumer will not detect any changes to our honey. But if left at room temperature longer than that, the honey will slowly begin to get softer and eventually small bubbles will be seen at the surface, a clear indication fermentation is beginning. If the honey will be stored for more than a few months before it is completely consumed, it should be stored in the refrigerator. When stored in a cool place, the honey will last indefinitely. To savor your jar of honey at home we suggest that you remove some of the honey from the jar and place it into a container that is left at room temperature. The room temperature honey can be used on a daily basis and replenished from the jar in the refrigerator