Why honey changes colour during storage
Have you ever bought honey that the seller swears it's original and then after a while it starts changing colour?
However, it comes in different colours, and changes colour in storage. Here are the reasons why;
1. Botanical origins
One main factor that influences the colour of honey is the source of the nectar. Bees visit different kinds of flowers for their nectar, each with unique pigments.
As bees gather nectar, they imbue the honey with the essence of these plants, giving rise to a spectrum of colours. For instance, honey derived from clover blossoms tends to be light in colour, while buckwheat honey boasts a rich, dark hue.
2. Chemical composition
The colour of honey is also linked to its chemical composition. Pigments such as flavonoids and polyphenols, present in varying amounts across different flowers, contribute to the distinct colour profiles.
Enzymes in the bees' saliva further break down these compounds, intensifying or altering the honey's colour during the honey-making process.
During storage, honey changes its colour due to crystallisation. This is a natural process where sugars in the honey form granules. While crystallisation does not signify spoilage, it can alter the honey's appearance, making it appear cloudy and grainy.
The rate and extent of crystallisation depend on factors like temperature and the honey's composition. Crystallised honey often appears lighter in colour than its liquid counterpart. Temperature also affects the crystallisation process. Higher temperatures can accelerate the crystallisation process, leading to colour changes.
Also, exposure to light can cause honey to darken over time. Proper storage in a cool, dark place can help maintain honey's original colour for a longer duration.
Now you know this, I bet the next time you see honey with different colours, you will know what might have led to it.
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