Pasteurised products are those such as milk, whereby the product is held at a relatively high temperature for a set period of time, as a means of killing common bacteria. However, honey is actually quite antibacterial in its natural state and does not support bacterial growth as a result of its high concentration of sugars, low moisture and low acidity or pH. As a consequence, we do not consider the heating of honey to high temperatures necessary and hence honey is classified as unpasteurised. While our honey has been heated to around 45 degrees Celsius simply for the ease of processing and pumping (honey is easier to filter and pack when warm) we do not consider it to be pasteurised, as the honey is only briefly heated to conserve its natural goodness.
Can honey be fed to infants under 12 months of age?
It is recommended to avoid giving honey to infants under the age of 12 months due to a very small risk of the child contracting infant botulism. Infant botulism can occur when a child ingests Clostridium botulinum bacteria or spores, which are found in dirt and dust and can contaminate honey. These bacteria are typically harmless to older children and adults because their mature digestive systems can move the bacteria through the body before they can cause any harm. Very young babies haven’t developed the ability to handle the bacteria and it can proliferate. Although we know of no instances where our honey has caused infant botulism, we suggest a precautionary approach and only feed honey to infants over 12 months.
As with all health matters, we advise you seek the advice of a qualified medical professional and follow their recommendations.
Why does my honey go all lumpy and full of ‘sugar’?
Candying or crystallisation of honey is a natural process relating to the characteristics of individual honeys. The natural glucose found in honey can form a structural lattice, which turns the liquid form of honey to a semi-solid state. Our premium blends are made up of first grade honey varieties, with some of these varieties containing faster candying properties than others. As honey is a natural product it will sometimes crystallise, and this is not an indication that the honey is “off” or “out of date” or of a low quality…..it is natural.
The process of candying can be reversed by simply placing the pack in hot water until the crystals liquefy. This will return the honey to liquid form and does not affect the quality of the honey.
Why does the taste and thickness and colour of my honey change?
This is because honey is a natural product and varies in flavour, colour and thickness depending on the type of tree the honey is made from. In a good season, we have a large selection of honey varieties to choose from and our honey blenders are able to produce honey that has a consistent flavour, colour and thickness. Unfortunately, sometimes our beekeepers have struggled to supply honey due to droughts, fires and floods in the areas where they normally place their hives. This honey shortage has forced us to use more honey varieties than we would normally use and often some of these varieties have flavours that consumers are not used to. We do appreciate our customer’s feedback on the honeys they like and dislike.
Why does your product have manuka honey from Australia? Isn’t it only from New Zealand? What is active honey?
The species of tree commonly known as Manuka (a type of Ti Tree or leptospermum species) is found all over Australia and New Zealand and the honey does vary in colour, thickness and flavour – while still retaining its renowned therapeutic benefits. Antibacterially active manuka honey is now known worldwide as a powerful antibacterial agent and when taken orally can assist with sore throats, mouth ulcers and digestion. These antibacterial manuka honeys are tested using analytical methods to show the presence of antibacterial properties. Capilano’s Manuka honey is made from a blend of Australian and New Zealand Manuka honey as per the label and may have a slightly different taste to the 100% New Zealand sourced Manuka honey.
Does honey go off or spoil?
Whether your honey will have an expiry or best before date printed on the pack will depend on where you are located and the Brand of honey. For example, in Australia consumer law does not require honey to have an expiry or best before date, as with proper storage (airtight container away from moisture) honey will last indefinitely. Did you know honey has even been found in Egyptian tombs and it was still suitable for human consumption.
Some of the countries we export our quality honey to do have slightly differently regulations and require best before dates on the products – this is usually 2/3 years after the packed date, depending on the country.