A recent exercise undertaken by the Regional Analytical Laboratory, Kakkanad, Kerala, to study the quality of honey sold in the open market caused alarm as tests showed the presence of colouring agents and food additives which could be harmful.

Particularly the ATK brand of honey was found to be contaminated with food colouring additives like tartrazine, sunset yellow, carmozine and ponceau 4R.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India prohibits the use of colouring agents in honey.

Here’s a cheat sheet to see if that honey you picked up from the supermarket shelf is the real thing:

Feel and consistency:

Pure honey is thick and slow moving. On the other hand, the adulterated product is runny, and will quickly move from one side of the container to the other when tilted.

Pure honey will not be sticky when you take a drop of it and rub it between your fingers.

Taste and smell

Adulterated honey will have a lingering taste, while pure honey can be savoured only for a moment.
And pure honey will have a faint smell of the flowers from which the bees gathered nectar. The adulterated product will either smell slightly sour, or smell of nothing in particular.


Put a spoonful of honey into a glass of water: If it drops to the bottom and settles there, you can be sure it’s pure. Fake honey dissolves quickly, and gets mixed into the water.

Also, when pure honey is heated, it caramelizes quickly, while adulterated honey just froths up and doesn’t caramelize.

Source: https://foodsafetyupdate.wordpress.com

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