It’s easy enough to say that honey is full of healthy components, but how do we know that’s true? A lot of honey’s nutrition information comes from the fact that it has an acidic pH level. The pH scale that determines whether a substance is acidic or alkaline also plays a major role in food production and nutrition information. For example, harmful microorganisms can’t grow in honey because of its low pH level, so some people use it as an antibacterial agent. Honey has an average pH level of 3.9, which means its full of acids that are safe and even beneficial to humans. Which acids are present in honey? We break it down with this guide.
Organic Acids in Honey
Organic acids are a tiny yet significant part of the solid components in honey. These acids interact with other flavors and serve to enhance the flavor, color, and aroma of honey. Organic acids play a role in honey’s natural preservation properties. The organic acids that make up honey include citric, malic, and oxalic acids, which likely come directly from the nectar honey bees forage to make their honey. However, the main organic acid you can find in honey is gluconic acid, which occurs when the enzyme glucose-oxidase interacts with glucose in the honey-making process.
Amino Acids in Honey
Amino acids also make up a number of the acids present in honey. Roughly 18-20 free amino acids occur in honey, including glutamine, glycine, and proline, the latter of which is the most abundant amino acid. These protein-building components primarily come from the pollen honey bees gather. While pollen isn’t a necessary ingredient in honey, it will fall into honey stores simply due to proximity. This is why raw honey is much healthier than regular honey, as raw honey will still have pollen—and its resulting amino acids—within it.
Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it. Learn the amazing properties of raw honey for yourself by grabbing your own beekeeping starter kit and getting ready for a successful, buzzing apiary.