Raw honey is the most original sweet liquid that honeybees produce from the concentrated nectar of flowers. Collected straight from the honey extractor; it is totally unheated, unpasteurized, unprocessed honey, and hence contains 100% of the health benefits and original goodness from the hive.
A lot of honey found in the supermarket is pasteurized (heated at 70 degrees Celsius or more, followed by rapid cooling) for easy filtering and bottling so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package.
Pasteurization kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation, which is a concern for storing honey with high moisture content over a long period especially in warm weather. On the downside, when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed.
Suppliers who understand that honey that has undergone heat treatment would not be as nutritious and have the consumers' health in mind would ensure their honey is only slightly warmed (not pasteurized), just enough to allow the honey to flow for bottling. Thus, you may also find raw honey that are unprocessed but slightly warmed to retard granulation for a short period of time and allow light straining and packing into containers for sale. Using as little heat as possible is a sign of careful handling by honey suppliers.
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