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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

How to Identify Original Honey

Honey is a natural product made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. It has many health benefits, such as antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, not all honey sold in the market is pure and authentic. Some manufacturers may add sugar, corn syrup, or other substances to honey to increase its quantity or sweetness. These adulterated honeys may not have the same nutritional value or quality as pure honey, and may even pose health risks to consumers.

So how can you tell if the honey you buy is original or fake? There are some simple tests and experiments that you can do at home to check the purity of honey. However, these tests are not 100% accurate, and may vary depending on the type and source of honey. Therefore, it is always advisable to buy honey from trusted and reputable sources, and to check the label for any additives or ingredients.

The Thumb Test

This is a simple test to check the consistency and texture of honey. Put a small drop of honey on your thumb and observe what happens. Original honey will stay intact and not spread around, while fake honey will spill or drip. This is because pure honey has a thick and sticky consistency, while adulterated honey is more watery and runny.

The Water Test

This is a test to check the solubility of honey in water. Fill a glass with water and add a spoonful of honey to it. Stir slowly or not at all, and see how the honey dissolves. Original honey will settle at the bottom of the glass, forming lumps or a solid layer. Fake honey will dissolve quickly and evenly in the water, making the water cloudy or sweet. This is because pure honey has a high density and does not mix easily with water, while adulterated honey has a lower density and contains additives that make it more soluble.

The Flame Test

This is a test to check the flammability of honey. Dip a cotton swab or a matchstick in honey, and then light it with a flame. Original honey will burn and produce a blue flame, while fake honey will not burn or produce a yellow flame. This is because pure honey contains natural sugars that are combustible, while adulterated honey contains moisture and impurities that prevent it from burning.

The Vinegar Test

This is a test to check the acidity of honey. Mix a few drops of vinegar and water in a small bowl, and then add some honey to it. Observe if there is any reaction, such as fizzing or foaming. Original honey will not react with vinegar, while fake honey will produce bubbles or foam. This is because pure honey has a low pH and does not contain starch, while adulterated honey has a higher pH and may contain starch or flour that reacts with vinegar.

These are some of the common ways to test the purity of honey at home. However, they are not foolproof, and may not work for all kinds of honey.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456

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