Is raw honey the same as the honey you find on your grocery store shelves? What does it mean when the honey is labeled “pure,” “organic,” or “natural”? Which among these types of honey is the sweetest or the healthiest? This article answers your most important questions about this elite superfood.
Anyone can buy a bottle of grocery store honey, but that doesn’t mean you get the true honey experience. Those who settle for regular honey miss out on a world of unique honey flavors and characteristics. Every spoonful of raw honey is a sweet tribute to the hive it came from, and no two bottles are the same.
What separates the two kinds of honey? Learn all about it with this overview of the difference between raw honey and regular honey.
How It’s Made
All honey starts at the same source: the harvest from a honey beehive. Beekeepers remove the bee frames from their hives and place them in a honey extractor. The extractor spins the frames, releasing the honey so that it drips down to the bottom of the extractor’s drum.
From there, beekeepers filter the honey to remove debris, such as wax or pieces of honeycomb.
Meanwhile, regular honey goes through a pasteurization process, which involves heating the honey to a high temperature to destroy the microorganisms within it. Pasteurization also turns the cloudy and opaque appearance of raw honey into the smoother and clearer consistency that you see on regular honey.
However, the pasteurization process also strips raw honey of many enzymes, minerals, and amino acids. This means that the resulting product lacks many characteristics that make raw honey special.
Is Pure Honey the Same as Raw Honey?
It’s easy to confuse pure honey and raw honey, but they are technically different types of honey.
The unrefined honey that is freshly taken from the hive and directly packaged without pasteurization is what is called raw honey. Raw honey either comes in unfiltered or filtered form, so don’t be surprised if your honey still contains pollen, bee parts, and honeycomb pieces. They are as close to the honeycomb as you can get.
A jar of honey labeled pure generally means it was not diluted with other ingredients like corn syrup. Most pure honey has been pasteurized and filtered to remove all the debris. The resulting product is still 100% honey; however, the label itself doesn’t always tell you much about how it was produced.