The Health Benefits of Honey

171010-honeyHoney is one of the world’s most amazing foods.  Produced by bees from the nectar of flowering plants, honey has been in people’s diets for 8,000 years.

Honey acts as its own preservative.  It has no shelf-life and will keep forever.  “One could ostensibly dip into a thousand year old jar of honey and enjoy it, without preparation, as if it were a day old.” (Smithsonian)

Some more amazing facts about honey:

  • Honey has more calories than sugar, but is better for your overall health. Honey can actually help you reduce weight, because it aids in digesting the fat stored in your body.
  • Honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C, calcium and iron. It also contains antioxidants.
  • Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a natural antiseptic. It speeds up the healing process by stimulating wound tissues.

(organicfact.net)

Agilent helps ensure the quality of honey before it reaches your table.  And you’d be surprised at the contaminants that can get into your honey…

Pesticides.  Agilent gas chromatographs can analyze 200 various pesticides in organic honey.  In fact, an Agilent GC can accurately identify and quantify one hundred pesticides in a single run.

Chemicals.  I’ve blogged about declining honey bee populations.  Beekeepers have begun using acaricide in beehives to prevent bee disease.  (Acaricide is a chemical agent used to kill mites.)  Agilent can analyze acaricide pollution in honey.

Antibiotics.  Chloramphenicol, Florfenicol and Thiamphenicol are antibiotics used in veterinary medicine.  Because of their toxicity to humans, their use in animal-derived foods (including honey) is strictly regulated.  Agilent can determine the presence of these antibiotics in honey.

Nature itself is responsible for some toxins.  Plants produce pyrrolizidine alkaloids to defend themselves against insects.  Some PAs can cause toxic reactions in humans when ingested with food or herbal medicines. (ITM)  Agilent can detect PAs in honey and herbal teas.


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