Intertek's Assurance in Action Podcast Network

Saving the Bees From Within the Honey Supply Chain

April 21, 2021 Britta Bellersen, Jessica D'Amico, Klaus Beckmann, Sandra Meixner Season 4 Episode 1
Intertek's Assurance in Action Podcast Network
Saving the Bees From Within the Honey Supply Chain
Show Notes Transcript

Honey crystallization is a major cause of consumer discontent with honey products they find on the shelf in their grocery store. In reality, crystallized honey is not at all harmful and just as good as liquid honey. It is simply a reaction due to the glucose and fructose ratios in a jar of honey. Intertek works within the honey supply chain to assure that the product reaching consumers is the best it can be. In this podcast Sandra Meixner, Klaus Beckmann and Britta Bellersen discuss what Intertek is doing to help #SaveTheBees.

Links:
Intertek - Honey Analysis
Intertek  - NMR Honey Profiling

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome.

Speaker 2:

You are listening to another episode of assurance and action. The podcast that covers key assurance topics brought to you by Intertek . My name is Jessica D'Amico and today is earth day and their theme this year is save the bees. So I'm thrilled to be joined by Sandra Mixner, Britta, bell , arson and Klaus Beckmann , who are here to talk about honey crystallization and what companies are doing to prevent it. So if you guys want to go around and introduce yourselves, that would be great. Okay. Thank you, Jessica. I'm Sandra, I'm a food chemist. Uh, I'm working in the hunting industry since over 20 years now, starting at a pecker , uh, on the industry side and now working for enter Texans 11 years. So honey is my passion and this amazing product. Uh, we want to talk about today.

Speaker 3:

I I'm close. I'm a food crevice too. And , uh, I'm working in the honey business since 2003 and , um, uh , since 2003, I'm involved in honey testing mainly. Um, and I will describe myself as a honey expert and , uh , also , um, some education in beekeeping. So , um , yeah , I'm, I'm one of the honey experts here at Intertek and bream .

Speaker 1:

Hey, my name is [inaudible] . I'm a food technologist and I'm worked in the food industry since eight years, four years in the topic of chocolate and , uh, nearly four years , uh, at Intertek with the special focus on honey production. And , uh, we would like to give you more information today about the topic of personalization for honey. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Thanks guys. Um, so honey crystallization, I mean, what is it, what does it look like and why does it happen? Yeah , that's a good question. Uh, I mean, honey is a natural product and you cannot change or add anything to it, but it reflects the nature of the, of the countries that it's from. And I traveled around the world almost , uh , to every continent. Um, and in every country you have beekeepers, but the honey is always different. Um, as it really depends , uh, on the flowers and everything, which is growing for the same time, it tastes different and it looks different. It can be very bright or very dark and also liquid and crystallize . So there are a lot of parameters that you have to look forward to understand what's happening.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I think concerning the crystallization , um, we first need to talk about how is , uh, uh, honey compost from, from which constituents and this isn't honey, this mainly water and many sugars. Um, so more than 90% of their , uh, of honey is composed of honey off of sugars and water and the main sugars , uh, we are talking about as fructose and glucose, fructose and glucose. The sum of these both , uh , monosaccharides , uh, is about , um, 70 to 75%. And , um, the other constituents in honey, this is typically this can be organic acids, flavonoids , um , protein, of course, and other components. But , uh, in terms of crystallization, we need to focus on Lotter and glucose. These are the paramitas, which mainly are the main intrinsic parameters, which influence the crystallization of concerning , uh, the , the sugars, the Monash , uh, the monosaccharides and honey, if this is mainly depending on the floor origin of the honey, for example, an Acacia honey has a very large , uh, uh, fructose glucose ratio. Uh , on the other hand , um, rapeseed honey , um , has a very low glucose fructose glucose ratio. Uh , and glucose is the main sugar, which were crystallized in the honey. So the higher, the fructose glucose ratio is , uh , the lower is the tendency of the honey to crystallize.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I mean, crystallization always happens , uh , when you have more, for example, sugar in a solution , um, then , uh, it's soluble and honey is a super rated supersaturated solution. So crystallization happens and that that's very natural. Uh, at this point, the question is just when does it happen? And yeah, that's a question of the raw material and the parameters clouds just explained, but I think there's also a big technical input on this.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's why it's so not only the honey by his own could be the problem. No, the production side, the production set innings, the storage air we are and the Walmart area Sandra said could be a problem. And , um, if you want to set the crystallization point at the latest possible point , um, then you have to control all the, the sings , um, in a full course, and to set all the best conditions to the honey that the crystallization point will not start . And for example, if you have everything in place and you're , what am I to is a very good, the food to its glucose, where she went, the water as class says very good. Um, and you have , uh , the good temperature setting from the beginning to, to solve the Krista and the production. Then you are on a good way, but you have to consider, for example, the production speed. So Huneeus there,

Speaker 4:

We , um,

Speaker 1:

Sensor turf , um, send zebra sensitive , um, so that you have to , um, use your pumps and a very slow speed. If you have too much speed, then , um, the honey , um, we'll get our bubbles in it . And so on. And our bubbles are extra stylization status . So a lot of different points like the pumps or the pressure in the system, or the temperature in your complete systems needs to be under control. You have to be aware at which point in your production is which temperature in your honey, do you have 40 degrees? Do you have 50 degrees? Eh, do you need a less temperature for the filling process and so on? So , um, every step , um, should be known from your production manager , um, to have so , um, less crystallization status as possible. And , um, for example, if you produced your honey and you have so white settings and you have no , um, our Bibles in it or something that you have to ensure that your honey , uh , start and on the light conditions as well, for example , um, if you have a creamy honey, it's not where we good to stay 125 degrees. So you have , uh , a better creamy honey without if you store your honey at 14 degrees, if you want to have a clear honey without any clusters, then you should stay the honey at 25 degrees and not at 14 degrees. So a little bit depends on what you want to do, but if you want to , um, eliminate the crystallization, then you have the temperature in your storage and we are under control . So same with the transportation force test . You should be aware that if you transport your honey at, at the winter time for maybe five degrees outside, that this will have any influences on your honey and the crystallization. So if you have a clear honey and you store it at 25 degrees, and then you put it on a transporter for maybe two or three or four days at five degrees.

Speaker 2:

So without any temperature regulation, then it might be possible that the honey starts was the crystallization. And , um, yeah, there are a lot of many factors , um, which you have to consider before doing an after the production. This is really quite complex , uh, from all the different sides . That was the reason why we formed this team, which is , uh, working for the honey service, Chris tech , um, to Willy discover , um, all the different sites and to bring a solution for our customers. And then maybe one point, if you see a jar on the shelf , uh, of liquid honey, where crystallization starts , that's natural, it's nothing harmful or , or , um, that you should be scared of. You can still buy it, put it in a warm water bath, and melt the glucose. Um, then everything is fine. Again, same is for , uh , creamy honey, where you might have a dark orange liquid on top. That's the fructose separating from the rest of the honey. You can just steer it and homogenize it again. Um , that's, what's happening with natural products, right? If you have the white , uh , dot points on the packaging, on the glass, if you have a creamy honey, for example, that's a natural at all. So , uh , it's not , um, something which is bad for the honey. So it's only because of the heat, what, which what's what's wrong . Exactly. And , uh, yeah, maybe we should be aware of , of, of this topic and then still buy the product so that they are not thrown away, especially in this times right now.

Speaker 3:

Uh , that , that is correct. So , uh, the problem, of course, there's whenever liquid honey, which should, which is recrystallize the lighting in the jar , uh, these , uh, or this honey, or this jar seemed to be, seemed to be like adulterated for, for many customers. So this is a reason why they don't buy such honey , uh , because it seems to be not natural, but as Sandra mentioned is natural. And , and of course it's a , so yeah, this must be broadcasted to , to the consumers. Uh , this is what it's done in, in many cases , um, it's described on the jars that the honey is , uh , other crystallizations the natural process and so on it , but on the other hand, when you have this jars in the, in the store and the shelves, and, you know , you see it, you will not many consumers will not buy it. That's a fact. And , um , so this is the reason why many honey bottlers and honey producers , uh, have the aim to reduce , uh , the speed of crystallization. And this is what we try to , to help all these honey honey bottlers,

Speaker 1:

Yeah. To , um, be able to help , um, the honey put, use us. We developed a system which call or just call it Chris tech. And , uh , Chris tech has a system where you can use it for your fresh samples , uh , liquid honey samples from your production line or in the beginning of your Walmart to your selection. So you can , um, see if you have a clear honey, if your honey has still an equal starts. So if your temperature was not correct, for example, or if you get awaited some clusters , uh, white after directly after the production, maybe. So this would indicate that you have any other problems during the production. [inaudible] be parts, a Wong, fructose glucose ratio or something like that. So it could be a lot of factors, but if you use that during the production, you can, they work quickly , change your settings and see if you have a better without if you change something. And , um, this system could be very helpful to set the crystallization point at the latest point as possible to your honey, so that your customer , um, don't have the problem. Should I buy the son ? Is this adulterated or not? No, you do your very best and your production line to extend the crystallization point with our system. Our system will help you in each production. It's a patina Cantwell , should it be so that you have an idea, is everything good? And could you sell your product and all the power meters, which you would like to have. And , um, you can be sure that your honey will not crystallized maybe for Sony about you say maybe for nine months, for 12 months depends on the production, right?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. 12 months is absolutely possible. Even longer. Yep .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. It's a little bit depending what you use. If you use glass, a few little squeezer and so on, and do you have a lot of corners and you're put in your packaging type or , um, something I think, so there are a lot of factors, but if you have our system, you can learn with our system, your product and your packaging and your packaging size and heal product differences in production lines. And so on, all this kinds can have impact or influence on your crystallization point, but , uh , 12 months or more would be possible. Yes. And overall , if you buy these jurors, you help to save the bees,

Speaker 3:

But it's just , uh, just , uh , described by a Bible. I would just like to add that , uh, the , the complete project Chris take, what we offer now to, to our clients , um, is also, it's a combination of, of, of the shelf life tests, just what has cried with , uh, with our instrument, what we have developed here in our company. And it is also a combination of different tests, which should be conducted on the honey itself, meaning to check whether the intrinsic paramitas could have an influence , uh , by themselves. For example, as mentioned at the beginning, those glucose ratio and water content, this is, I think are mostly, already done by , uh , by , uh , honey bottlers . This is the first point to check whether I can use honey for a liquid honey off only for cream townie , but also what we also also check in June or Chris tech , um , project is , um, checking for , uh , sediment conduct, the Poland count. For example, it says very important , um, in the United States, for example, many bottles filter the honey , um, uh, in order to, to remove the Poland and the Poland's removed, Poland can, can function as starter crystal. And when the pony is removed, of course you reduce the number of starter crystals. And then you can of course , um, slow down the speed of crystallization. And this is also one thing we can, we will check , uh , we can check in our lap. Um, what about the Poland count? And , uh, could it have an influence on the speed of crystallization? Um, our , the WEX content is very important. Lexis, usual, constituent and honey as well. Um , more or less a contamination, but it's , it's natural, of course. And , um, Sandra have mentioned though , the production process and , and the importance of the temperature. And for example, when the temperature is too high and the max as well to melt it , curing honey production. And then finally, when the honey is cooled down, this WEX can recrystallize and also function as starter crystal. So what we can check is to , to , um, yeah, it's the amount of , uh, of wax in the honey. And if this could have an impact on, on home crystallization as well. So that's a combination of flare of life and using our instrument , uh, together with , uh, some tests of the honey in terms of , uh, uh, of , uh , natural composition concerning honey crystallization.

Speaker 1:

So if you, we know if you have any problems or if you're Harney the after four months, for example , um, then there's no general solution for your honey. So mainly you have to have , um , to look deeper in your process to see which wall materials do you use, which production settings do you have , um, as cloud SAS , um, if the temperature's too high, you might have a problem with bee wax. Maybe what if the pumps pump speed is too high, then you have our bubbles in it and the Abbott's can , um, start the crystallization. Or if you take all the Poland out, it could be that you have some fertile material in your honey and the fertile material can start the studies station as well. So it depends how you put use because the honey production is not , uh , the same in each production. Each honey production is different. You use different machines, you use different temperatures , you use. So nothing is the same, and we cannot deliver the general solution for you, but we can develop something to was huge for you and with you to , uh, get the best honey on the market and , um , to have the longest , uh, clear and liquid honey , uh, what you want to have. And , um , this is something which we can , uh , provide to you as a project. Uh, we can say it, but we can give it to you as a singer thing as well.

Speaker 3:

Yes, I think it's very important what you would, what you just said, honey, it's natural. And we exactly what we can not do is to deliver a complete solution for any honey, for any company or whatever. Each honey is an individual case. And , uh , we need to, to, ah , we need to have a , um , our own strategy or you need to have your own strategy. And , and this is what we can offer. We have the instruments, what we have developed with analyze this with the shelf life and so on. And , uh , then yes, exactly. Brita each honey, each is a, it's a single project then finally, so it's not easy. And in some cases it may be difficult to, to create a solution. Um, in many cases it is a deep based on the composition of the, out of the raw material of the, of the origins of the honey. Um, so , um, it is, we , we , of course we are not able to , uh, to, to give , um, a complete solution for, for everything, for, for any Harney , with , uh, with her same paramitas. So , um, each, each honey is a new task for us and , uh, but we, we have the instruments and we have several instruments in our Christic project. And , uh, this is what we are working with to help you solving the problems with crystallization.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Individually for every customer. That's what makes it, makes it interesting in the end. And we have a lot of fun with that as well. So it's not only for you to improve your product. No, we love this product. We love honey , and we love to work with the product and we love to, to , uh, improve your product and , uh, to save , uh , waste on the market. So if the customer muscle will not buy it, it's not good for us and not good for you. So we love to work with that. We learn and we learned , yeah ,

Speaker 3:

Gaining knowledge. It's also makes us stronger in this, in this position. So , um , with every new project and, and , um , finally a nice project , uh, we have much more experience for, for the next one. So , uh, this is , um , uh , the advantage with , uh , with working in this, in this area.

Speaker 1:

Okay. Thanks everyone for your time. If you're interested in learning more about honey and Krista , please follow the links in the podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and rate us and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.