What is Raw Honey: Need To Know Everything?

Have you ever thought about why different labels are used for honey? Is there raw honey better? Do you know its texture and taste? They are different in terms of nutritional value and processing.

There is always the risk of buying highly processed and pasteurized fake honey. Processing destroys all-natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes and reduces honey\’s nutritional value.

A new honey category pops up every month, and it can take time to track them. Today, we are tackling raw honey exploring its advantages and disadvantages, and investigating which one you should buy for your pantry. Here is what you need to know about raw honey vs. pure honey:

What is raw honey?

The US government does not officially define raw honey, but it is generally considered honey that exists in the hive without being filtered or pasteurized. Honey marketed as unpasteurized may or may not be filtered.

Raw or pasteurized honey naturally resists the growth of bacteria and other harmful organisms due to its low moisture content and high acidity. However, yeast spores naturally present in the nectar used to produce honey can multiply and cause fermentation which, while not dangerous, can affect flavor. Some commercial producers pasteurize their products, killing any remaining yeast. It also prevents the rapid crystallization of honey.

To Taste

Heating honey above 105°C changes not only its structure but also its taste. Raw honey is creamy and smooth and leaves little or no aftertaste in the mouth. Pasteurized honey (burnt honey) has a distinct smoky aftertaste. I\’m not sure how to explain this, but if you\’ve tasted raw honey often, you\’ll immediately notice the distinctive burnt taste.


Heating honey above 105 degrees fundamentally changes its consistency of honey. You can tell if the honey is raw by the texture of the crystals as it crystallizes. However, this is only sometimes the case, as each type of honey has a different crystal size.

From my observations, the honey crystal with low water content is coarser. When analyzing whether your honey is raw based on its crystal structure, remember that raw honey has a much finer crystal than honey that has been heated, filtered, and pasteurized.

Advantages of raw honey:

  • Promotes Good Digestive Health

  • More Nutritional Value

  • Helps Predigest Starchy Foods

  • Delicate Flavors, Yeast, and EnzymesRemain Unspoiled (responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body)

  • High Antioxidant Levels

  • Fine Textured Honey Has Creamy Consistency

  • Stores indefinitely (it will gradually darken with age, but honey stored at the proper temperatures will stay good for a very, very long time)

Disadvantages of raw honey:

  • Raw honey crystallizes (a little harder to do as you have to scoop it out with a spoon or knife rather than pouring it out of the bottle or bear)

What Is Pure Honey?

Pure honey is honey without added additives. \”Pure honey\” does not mean it is raw or organic.

For example, \”ginger honey\” or \”Sativa nigella honey\” is not \”pure honey\” because an ingredient is added to the honey.

Pure honey can come from the sugar solution fed by bees, be pasteurized and filtered, and contain chemicals and antibiotics.

Pure honey does not mean the honey is raw or organic.

Raw Honey vs. Pure Honey: What Is the Difference?

\”Raw\” and \”pure\” may seem like interchangeable descriptors, but when it comes to specifics, they mean very differently than honey. Raw honey refers to honey that has not been heated for pasteurization. It also means it\’s not cut into corn syrup, sugar, or any other ingredient to dilute or change its flavor, and it\’s not tightly filtered to remove pollen and air bubbles. Raw honey is gently filtered to remove bits of honeycomb and other debris, but that\’s the only process it goes through. Raw honey is as close to the hive as possible. (Read more about what raw honey is in our dedicated guide.)

Pure honey is not diluted with corn syrup, sugar, or other ingredients. Generally, pure honey is heated for pasteurization and separated from raw honey, and filtered at least once or even twice. These heating and filtering processes are believed to improve the aesthetic appearance of pure honey as they remove air bubbles and make the honey more evenly transparent. However, the processes also tend to destroy or break down the pollen and nutrients that give honey its unique taste and health benefits.

Is raw honey better?

  • Buy raw or raw organic.

  • Raw honey is better than supermarket honey.

  • Raw organic honey is better than raw honey.

  • And raw organic active honey is better than raw organic honey.

Avoid supermarket honey, as it is pasteurized (heat-treated) in a process that kills its beneficial live nutrients. It may also contain antibiotics that are harmful to humans.

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