Crystallisation is the formation of monohydrate glucose crystals from a super-saturated sugar solution (i.e. honey).
The rate of crystallisation increases with:
- Lower water content
- Higher glucose content
- Presence of solid particles (i.e. pollen grains & honey crystals)
- Temperature close to 14°C (Temperatures above 26°C and below 5°C result in very slow crystallisation)
Note that the slower crystallisation produces larger and more irregular crystals.
Crystallisation of honey is completely normal and does not damage the honey. In most cases the crystallisation process can be reversed by gently warming the honey to "melt" the crystals.
How to de-crystallise honey.
Honey that has started to crystallise, characterized by glucose crystals forming on the bottom of the container, can be easily melted. Simply put the honey container (with the lid on) into a warm water bath on the stove at approximately 45°C for a couple hours, or as necessary. Stirring the honey, or turning the container upside down occasionally to break up the crystals, will speed the process.
Important Facts about Crystallised Honey.
- crystallised honey has not gone bad and is still safe to eat
- most pure raw honey varieties will crystallise in time
- crystallisation is not an indicator that you have received tainted honey
- store honey in a warmer location – never in the refrigerator