How can we differentiate 100% pure honey and adulterated honey?

08.10.2015. 14:03

Did you know that there is real honey and fake honey? What is Pure Honey? What is Fake, Impure or Adulterated Honey? Can you know the difference between fake and pure honey. Without knowing how to check purity of honey, it will be difficult to tell and identify the difference. Here’s a guide what is pure honey and how to test the purity of honey.

If you want to enjoy most of the benefits derived from honey, its purity is what you should consider before buying. Most of the honey in the grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce but fake and impure honey. Without distinguishing the difference between pure and fake honey, you will end up buying bad products. There are a lot of adulteration of honey, which makes it not real yet sold as the real thing. Because of the high demand for pure honey resulting from its medicinal and nutrient value individuals and companies have taken advantage of this (high demand) in a move to make an extra buck by selling fake honey.

What is real honey?

As you would expect, real honey should not come from a factory but from bees. The most common references to real and pure honey are organic and natural honey. By just looking packaged honey on the shelves, it is almost impossible to tell whether the honey is fake or real. Pure honey is the natural product made by honey bees. Organic honey is made by the bees that were fed only with organically grown flowers.

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You will need tests to distinguish between the two since it has been found out that most of products you see in stores are not really the organic product you are looking for. If you want to take healthy benefits of honey you should use real honey, there are many health benefits from honey backed up by science.

What is fake honey?

Also referred to as impure, artificial or adulterated, fake honey is ‘honey’  that has been added glucose, dextrose, molasses, sugar syrup, invert sugar, flour, corn syrup, starch, or any other similar product, other than floral nectar.

How to identify pure honey?

By examining the physical qualities of honey, it is very easy to know whether this is pure or impure honey. We are looking at simple ways by which an average day to day consumer can quickly tell if the honey he/she buying is fake or pure. Below are some of the main differences in properties that will help you distinguish between the real and unreal thing. It is very easy to notice the impurities although this may require some practice first.

How to know if honey is pure?


Pure Honey:  It tends not to be sticky if you rub it between your fingers

Fake Honey: It is fairly sticky because of the high percentage of added sweeteners and additives 


Pure Honey: It is very thick and takes a good of time to move from one side of the jar/container to the other

Fake Honey: It is very lightish and moves really quickly inside the jar. Not dense at all. 


Pure Honey: Contrary to a common belief, the taste will go away very soon in a matter of minutes. Also if you heat and cool pure honey, you will alter the taste and kill all healing and nutrional values

Fake Honey: Extensively sweet taste remains because of added sugars and sweeteners 


Pure Honey: If experienced, you can actually smell aromas of certain flowers and wild grasses. 

Fake Honey:  There is mostly none or just industrial sour smell. 


Pure Honey: Upon heating, pure honey caramelizes quickly but does not make foam.

Fake Honey:  Forms foam and becomes bubbly because of the added moisture, sugars and water.

Dissolving Method 

Pure Honey:  Doesn't get dissolved in water immediately and lumps and the bottom. Gets diluted when stirred for a while. Mixing in equal amounts of honey and methylated spirits, honey settles at the bottom.

Fake Honey: Gets dissolved very fast when added to water because of additives. Dissolves in methylated spirits while making the solution milky.

Flame Test

Pure Honey: After immersing a matchstick in the honey it lights easily with no hesitations. 

Fake Honey: Matchstick will not light easily because of presence of moisture. 

Bread test

Pure Honey: When spread on a slice of bread, the bread will become solid in a few minutes.

Fake Honey: It will wet and moisturize the slice of bread because of additives. 

Absorption Test

Pure Honey: Few drops poured on blotting paper do not get absorbed. When poured on piece of white cloth, it won't leave stains.

Fake Honey: Gets absorbed in blotting paper. Leaves stains on a white piece of cloth.


Pure Honey: Presence of impurities: dirty-looking particles, pollen and bee body parties

Fake Honey: Absence of impurities

Egg yolk Test

Pure Honey: When poured into a container with yolk alone and the mixture stirred together the yolk appears like it is cooked

Fake Honey: Has no effect on the yolk

From determining the isotopic composition in laboratories to testing for pure honey at home, there are quite a number of methods you can use to determine or know if honey is fake or pure. Find out more and test honey at home!