Honey storage has to be done properly to preserve its quality and taste.
Honey is a highly concentrated and acidic solution, thus it is prone to physical and chemical changes during storage and caused by heating.
But if stored properly, honey can last for many, many years. In Egypt, people found honey that is believed to be around 5000 years old…and guess what, it was still as good as new!
Honey is best kept in an airtight glass container. I would also recommend storing honey in small containers (such as pint or quart jars) instead of a large one. Why?
If the moisture content of honey is low (lower than 18%), it will crystallize quickly if unpasteurized. Crystallization is the process that makes the honey thick and a little hard. It would be difficult to use crystallized honey if it is inside a large container, that’s why it’s better to store honey in smaller containers.
What if you found that your honey is crystallized before you could even use it?
Don’t worry. You can always liquidify crystallized honey by putting the honey jar in warm water. Stir it a few times until the crystals start to melt.
To avoid it from absorbing moisture, it’s also better to store honey jars in a dark and dry place. Honey is hygroscopic, which means that it has a high tendency to draw moisture. When honey absorbs moisture, it will spoil because osmophilic yeasts can live in it and fermentation will occur.
The ideal temperature for honey storage is around 11 degrees Celcius. Exposure to direct sunlight or heat can destroy the antibacterial properties of honey. It’s not good to store honey together with other types of food and beverages, for example in the fridge. This is because honey has a high ability to absorb the smell and moisture from the surrounding.
Plus, storing honey under a very cold temperature will cause some enzymes which are good for the body to be destroyed.
Okay, one good news: Honey has a condition which makes microorganisms growth difficult. This is because honey has a high sugar content. The sugar molecules will react with water molecules and this strong interaction leaves very few water molecules available for microorganisms.