Honey is defined as natural sweet substance produced byhoney bees from the nectar of blossoms which is collected, transformed and stored in honeycombs by honey bees. It has amazing health benefits and lot of medical advantages.
Recently there has been growing concern around sugar syrup adulteration in honey. The main reason of which could be the increase in costs of raw pure honey because of high demand, decrease in bee population and a few other climatic reasons. To remain profitable while selling at cheaper rate, many sellers and brands have started adding artificial syrups (Sugar syrup / Rice syrup) to honey.
FSSAI had recently picked samples of well-known brands to check if they were adulterated with artificially made rice syrup or corn syrup, that are nothing but sugar syrups. This was highlighted even in a DNA article.
The unsettling worry here is that, since all those brands were FSSAI complaint already, yet how were they supposed to have sugar syrups added in it. This implies, there were a few loopholes in the FSSAI standards which could be utilized to do adulteration. Most interesting thing to note is recently it was out in Economic Times that FSSAI has proposed some changes in honey norms.
Being health conscious one must understand what impact such adulterations may have on health. It’s becoming really difficult nowadays to find 100% pure honey. There are few home testing methods people use to check purity like water test, burn test etc. but these tests can’t detect presence of rice syrup as such sugar syrups are very similar in texture and colour with pure honey. To be completely assured of 100% pure honey screen the chosen brand properly; Go for the best quality honey brands that are usually in the Rs.500-600 per kgrange. Secondly, always check what they are saying to public, check their websites. You will not find many brands commenting on Corn Syrup/ Rice Syrup that are commonly used for adulteration. There are certain honey brands that giveproof of no added Rice Syrup publicly. One such brand I found is Zandu Honey. They publish their Rice and Corn syrup addition test reports on their website.
What is corn Syrup?
Corn syrup also known as glucose syrup is made from the starch of corn or maize and is used in foods to soften texture and volume, prevent crystallization of sugar and enhance flavour.
One type of artificial sugar made from corn syrup is High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Pure honey gets deliberately adulterated with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) at levels of 10%- 50%
5 Reasons Why High-Fructose Corn Syrup Is Bad for You
1. HFCS gets easily converted into fat when consumed in excess.
2. Excessive quantities of HFCS or sugar may play a key role in obesity.
3. Excessive fructose or HFCS consumption can also lead to insulin resistance, a condition that can result in type 2 diabetes
4. Considering all of the health issues and diseases linked to HFCS and sugar, studies also link them to an increased risk of heart disease while reducing life expectancy
5. Like other added sugars, high fructose corn syrup is “empty” calories.
What is Rice Syrup?
Rice syrups are artificially made from Rice bran. This is a type of sugar syrup with similar colour and texture of honey. Adding this to honey can further sweeten the taste. This is cheaper and easier to produce than honey.
In the event that you are endeavouring to chop down your sugar intake and watching weight, at that point you should only use 100% pure honey just; and not adulterated/ fakehoney with added sugar syrups.
Different Methods to test Honey at home are why not valid:
It’s really hard even for experts to distinguish between pure and adulterated honey. There are numerous ways of testing honey quality at home, but they are not capable of detecting Rice Syrup adulteration and other artificially made sugar syrups that have similar texture and colour as honey. The only best and definitive way to assess the quality of honey is in the laboratory. As a consumer, you should buy honey as per the screening criteria I have talked about above.
Until next time