1. My honey has become crystallised or firm, what should I do?
You can place the honey in a warm water bath. The temperature of the water should not exceed 40 ° C, in order to maintain the quality of the honey.
2. Why does liquid honey crystallise?
Over time, most types of liquid honey will granulate or crystallise. This is a natural physical process which does not have any influence on the quality of the honey. Depending upon the original nectar source, the crystallisation rate might differ from honey type to honey type. The composition (in percentage terms) of the two main sugars in honey, fructose and glucose, also affects the rate of crystallisation. The higher the percentage of glucose the faster a honey may crystallise. Crystallisation is optically visible in a separation of liquid honey on top and a more solid (crystallised) section below. Crystallised honey can be easily restored to its liquid state in a warm water bath (below 40°C).
Just as it is natural that liquid honey may gradually crystallise over time, it may likewise occur that slowly a thin, golden brown, liquid layer begins to form on creamy honey. This also is a natural process and has no influence on the quality of the honey.
3. Why should infants under 1 year not consume any honey?
The spore of the bacteria "Clostridium botulinum" may occur sporadically in honey. This bacterium produces a toxin that can cause a condition called "botulism". However, these spores are dangerous only for infants up to 12 months, since the environment in the intestines of infants are not as acidic as in children and adults. In an appropriately acidic intestinal environment, the bacterium cannot become active.
4. How much GMO is in honey?
Occurrences of some GMO pollen from genetically modified plants in honey from either Latin America or other sources cannot be fully excluded. However, bees are not usually held in areas of intensive agriculture, because those areas provide only little food for them. Therefore, beekeepers usually place their hives in areas with low agricultural use, i.e. in natural environments. Bees do not usually approach the most common GMO crops in Latin America (soya, maize and cotton), since they emit no or very little nectar. Pollen in honey is found only in small quantities, i.e. in a 500g-honey jar, there is about 0.5 g of pollen. In turn, if there is any, only a very small part of the pollen originates from GMO modified plants. It is the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack - or in this case to search for the GMO pollen in the already low pollen content of honey. It is not analytically possible to determine the exact proportion of pollen in the honey, because this portion depends more on the sample taken than the analysis. EU scientists are currently working to develop such methods, for both sampling and analysis. It is estimated that the proportion of pollen from genetically modified plants found in the pollen from all of the South American honey is lower than one-tenth of a per cent. This means a maximum of 1 mg of GMO pollen per kg of honey. The actual content may be much smaller.
5. What are soft fruit?
After treating our dried fruit with extra gentle water vapour, they become soft fruit. They are extra soft and very juicy! Anyone who has ever eaten a nectaflor soft-fruit will know the difference.
6. There are white spots on the cranberries, what are those?
The white spots are fructose. You can eat such fruit without any concern.
7. Can there be remnants of fragments in dried fruit products?
Despite careful pitting and rigorous quality control, pitted fruits may occasionally still contain pits or fragments of pits.
8. Why are there light and dark apricot?
Apricots oxidise when exposed to the air. To avoid this process we slightly sulphuric the fruit, as to retain their beautiful, bright orange colour also during daytime temperature. Organic apricots are not sulphurised, therefore they turn brown.
9. Why are some dried fruit treated with vegetable oil?
Because of the fruit juice, certain dried fruit will stick together during storage. To prevent this, we add a small amount of hydrogenated vegetable oil to those few products.
10. There is a white coating on the outside of the fruit, is that mould?
The white coating is sugar. When fruit mature, they become drier. During this process, the sugar crystallises on the surface (e.g. figs or cranberries). You can eat such fruit without any concern.
11. What is the difference between preservation and sulphurisation?
Preservation refers to the process of treating foods by physical (e.g. heating, cooling), chemical (e.g. adding preservatives, smoking) and biological (e.g. formation of alcohol) methods. Sulphurisation is a chemical method of preservation, whereby sulphur dioxide or sulphurous acid are used. The preservative sulphur dioxide has both antimicrobial and enzyme deactivating effects. In addition, sulphurous acid serves as an antioxidant and colour stabiliser e.g. for dried fruit.