Honey authenticity

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Drone Bee
Jul 29, 2009
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North Yorks, UK
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As part of the day job I met up with a public analyst today. Both his father and grandfather kept. Discussion over lunch turned to honey composition. Some interesting points to pass on.

1. increasing concern within the enforcement community with regard antibiotic residues in imported honey, particularly from oriental origin
2. British honey in short supply and some people taking 'short cuts' on moisture and 'bakers' sold as full honey has got enforcement attention.
3. Claims for a specific type of honey are being routinely checked, not just the big boys but small local producers as well. Main issue being checked is claimed honey type - e.g. heather or blossum etc. The honey is partially diluted and centrifuged. The pollen is collected and typed under a 100 to 400x microscope. Ratio of pollen confirms the honey origin claim - or otherwise! Favourite scams uncovered are high proportion of rape or beans in blossum honey and low level of heather in heather honey.

Whether rape / bean is a blossum is open to debate, but it's mono-crop rather than the implied pretty little flowers in hedgerows at the end of the day. Moan about big brother if you will, but it's not unreasonable for a punter to get what they thought they had paid for irrespective of whether they bought from a supermarket or at a premium 'locally produced' price tag down the local school fete! I'm with the PA on this one, don't claim provenance that's not justified. If in doubt 'local' still does the job for a description.

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