Is Our Honey Raw?

Is Our Honey Raw?
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Is Our Honey Raw at Happy Valley?

 

We class the majority of our all-natural honey at Happy Valley as 'raw' because we do not pasteurize or heat-treat our honey apart the natural temperature found in the hive. With many impressive health benefits, there are various reasons to choose raw honey in its purest form.

What is raw honey?

 

Taken from the beehive, strained, and poured straight into the jar, raw honey is differentiated from regular honey through the act of bypassing commercial processing methods. Most of our honey products have been spun and extracted from frames, then slightly heated and filtered to remove wax and unwanted bee parts. This is done at Bee Keeping extraction facility - our state-of-the-art facility in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Tiny particles of surprisingly nutritious bee pollen remain behind, including amino acids, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants. Raw honey also has more than 30 bioactive plant compounds with active enzymes that have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers, alongside reduced inflammation.

In fact, this smooth and sweet syrup is one of the healthiest alternatives to sugar. With the preserved natural goodness of many vitamins and minerals, we believe the best type of honey is raw.

Raw honey vs organic honey

 

Organic honey is produced from the pollen and nectar from flowers of organically grown plants and without chemical miticides to treat the honey bees, but is not necessarily raw or minimally processed unless labelled as such.

The main differences between raw and regular honey result from the fact that even organic honey may be pasteurized - a process that destroys the yeast found in pure honey by applying high heat.

Pasteurization involves filtration, which removes air bubbles so that honey stays as a clear liquid for longer, changing the crystal structure and making it aesthetically appealing to customers. Regular and natural honey may also be processed with additives to reduce costs and increase shelf life. Commercially processed honey does not have all the health benefits of raw, unfiltered honey. While commercial honeys are not necessarily bad, your best bet is to go raw when choosing honey if you want the healthiest honey products.

What is the most natural form of honey?

 

The most pure form of raw honey you can find is our delicious honeycomb. The comb has been cut straight from the frame the bees produced it in, packaged, and left as is. But honeycomb, which includes beeswax, is not everyone's cup of tea, and frankly wouldn't taste that great in one...

Eating raw honey - why is raw honey processed?

 

Our honey is minimally processed as not everyone one wants to enjoy raw honey in its most pure form of honeycomb. This allows us to create the different forms of honey our customers love while retaining the benefits of pure, raw honey, including liquid, creamed, and even mouth-watering blends like Lemon Honey and Ginger Honey.

What is our natural honey production process?

 

We aim to make the process of extracting honey as natural as possible, with minimal human interference. Our honey is gently warmed to the temperature found in the hive, allowing careful extraction from the honeycomb. When we are ready for packing, drums of honey are then transported from our storage facility to our factory. Here, we pump honey out of the drums into the VATs where it is filtered to ensure purity and quality - learn more about this here.

A starter seed is then added to the honey that has already been creamed - where the crystilisation process has been retarded. The seed mixes and turns the batch into thick creamy honey with a smooth and velvety texture, distinguishing it from the grainy texture you might find elsewhere.

Samples of our honey are sent away for independent testing against our purity and quality requirements.  Once results are received the honey is packed into jars and labelled according to its floral source and purity tests. Our UMF® Mānuka Honey  is packed according to its UMF® Grade and a final retention sample is sent away for a release document test result.

Throughout the whole process, our honey is never heated above hive temperature, and nothing is added (with the exemption of infusion honey), making all our honey as natural and healthy as possible!

 

Find out more interesting facts about honey here on the Happy Valley blog!

 
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