What is Unpasteurized Honey?

YS Organic Unpasteurized HoneyThe process of pasteurization is heating liquid food to a temperature to kill certain harmful bacteria. Pasteurization was first recorded in the early 12th century by the Chinese as a method to preserve wine for an extended period of time. It was later documented in Japan in 1568.   It is applied to several foods, including honey.  But, what is unpasteurized honey?

What is pasteurization?

First let’s focus on the process of pasteurization.  Food contains many bacteria, enzymes and other nutrients and minerals. Just as pasteurization kills bad bacteria, the process also kills good bacteria too. 

Unlike sterilization, which kills all micro-organisms, pasteurization aims to reduce the number of viable pathogens likely to cause disease.

Certain enzymes are also destroyed during the pasteurization process. Though implemented earlier, pasteurization was standardized after the work done by Louis Pasteur in 1862. Simply put, unpasteurized honey retains all the good bacteria and vitamins normally killed by the pasteurization process.

Pasteurizing wine and milk extends the life of the product. Pasteurization was first deployed for keeping wine from going sour. Later in the 1770’s in England, pasteurization was applied to beer to extend its shelf life.

The process of pasteurizing milk did not become common until the early 20th century after its 1773 introduction in Boston.

What is unpasteurized honey going to do for you?

When we think of unpasteurized honey, we are really talking about raw honey. Honey extracted directly from the hive. Raw honey will have all the beneficial bacteria, enzymes and vitamins normally destroyed by the pasteurization process.

While pasteurization is used on wine, beer and milk to extend shelf life, unpasteurized honey will store at room temperature.

What is unpasteurized honey’s other good points.  It is believed by many that it is a good source to stay healthy.  More about learning the benefits of unpasteurized honey in another post.  Want to learn more?  Please sign up to the Unpasteurized Honey newsletter.

YS Organic Bee Farms CERTIFIED ORGANIC RAW HONEY 100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC HONEY Raw, Unprocessed, Unpasteurized – Kosher 32oz

Resources: Pasteurization

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