Honey: The Food That Never Spoils

The secret of ancient Egyptian honey that never spoils
Honey never spoils. Archaeologists have discovered pots of honey in ancient Egyptian tombs that are over 3,000 years old and still perfectly edible.


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Have you ever wondered why honey never goes bad? You can keep a jar of honey in your pantry for years and it will still be good to eat. How is that possible?

The Secret of Honey

Honey is a special food because it has some unique properties that prevent it from spoiling. These properties are:

  • Low water content: It is made from nectar, which is a watery solution of sugar and other compounds. Bees collect nectar from flowers and store it in their honey stomachs. There, they add enzymes that break down the sugar into simpler forms. Then, they regurgitate the nectar into the honeycomb cells and fan it with their wings. This process reduces the water content of honey to about 17%, which is very low compared to other foods. Low water content means that bacteria and fungi cannot survive in honey because they get dehydrated .
  • High acidity: It is also acidic, with an average pH of 4. This means that it can kill most bacteria and microorganisms that spoil food. Honey’s acidity comes from the nectar itself, as well as from the enzymes and acids that bees add to it .
  • Hydrogen peroxide: One of the enzymes that bees add to nectar is called glucose oxidase. This enzyme converts glucose, one of the sugars in honey, into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antiseptic that can destroy bacteria and fungi. It also helps to keep honey fresh and prevent oxidation .

The Benefits

It is not only a delicious sweetener, but also a healthy food with many benefits. Some of these benefits are:

  • Antioxidants: It contains many antioxidants, which are substances that protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants can help prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease .
  • Wound healing: It can be applied to wounds and burns to speed up healing and prevent infection. This is because honey creates a moist environment that promotes tissue regeneration, reduces inflammation, and prevents bacteria from growing .
  • Cough relief: It can also soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing. This is because honey coats the throat and reduces irritation, as well as stimulates saliva production and suppresses the cough reflex .

The Types

Honey comes in different types depending on the source of nectar, the processing method, and the color. Some of the common types of honey are:

  • Floral honey: It is made from the nectar of specific flowers, such as clover, lavender, or orange blossom. Floral honey has distinct flavors and aromas depending on the flower.
  • Raw honey: This is honey that has not been heated, filtered, or pasteurized. Raw honey retains more of its natural nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants than processed honey.
  • Creamed honey: This is honey that has been whipped or crystallized to create a smooth and creamy texture. Creamed honey does not drip or crystallize like liquid honey.


It is a remarkable food that never spoils because of its low water content, high acidity, and hydrogen peroxide production. It also has many health benefits and comes in different types to suit different tastes. Next time you enjoy some honey, remember how amazing it is!