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The honey which we get in the markets is of utterly low price as compared to raw honey. As we all know that this honey is heated at great temperatures and filtered.

My question is then why is honey heated and filtered and then sold in the markets?

The price of heating and filtering should make more expensive than raw honey. Why is it of so low cost as compared to raw honey?

From: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isnt-honey/#.VvuBK3oaabl

It’s no secret to anyone in the business that the only reason all the pollen is filtered out is to hide where it initially came from and the fact is that in almost all cases, that is China,” Adee added.

Why would they want to hide where it came from? In India, big companies like Dabur, Patanjali etc. sell such filtered and heated honey. What and why do they want to hide?

  • I don't understand what you're asking... In the US, there's a huge difference between the two... usually "Raw honey" is produced locally to where you buy it, often within 20 miles, while filtered honey is sold all over the world and produced in bulk. People often prize raw local honey for its supposed health benefits (discussion of which is off topic here). – Catija Mar 30 '16 at 19:06
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    @Catija Not sure I understand your comment. The question is why all that honey sold all over, excluding mostly local raw honey, is filtered and heated. – Cascabel Mar 30 '16 at 19:09
  • Oh, I think I see. The OP asked "why is raw honey heated..." meaning why do they take the raw honey and heat it (making it non raw honey). Clearer to just not say raw there. – Cascabel Mar 30 '16 at 19:11
  • @Jefromi I'm jabbering about it in chat. – Catija Mar 30 '16 at 19:12
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Filtering

The filtering reduces crystallization. It also is desirable because most people don't like random bits of wax, bee parts, or really any foreign-looking material in their honey. For better or worse, people like clear, clean-looking honey. The visible particles could be filtered without removing the much smaller pollen, but that'd still leave the crystallization issue. Burleson's has a page explaining filtering, including addressing the claim that it's about hiding the origin of the honey. This NPR article also addresses it pretty well.

Note that some people have made some pretty wild claims about filtered honey not even being honey anymore. This is not true, at least as far as the USDA is concerned:

Filtered. Filtered honey is honey of any type defined in these standards that has been filtered to the extent that all or most of the fine particles, pollen grains, air bubbles, or other materials normally found in suspension, have been removed.

Strained. Strained honey is honey of any type defined in these standards that has been strained to the extent that most of the particles, including comb, propolis, or other defects normally found in honey, have been removed. Grains of pollen, small air bubbles, and very fine particles would not normally be removed.

So if you prefer strained/unfiltered honey for whatever reason, go for it. But filtered honey is still honey.


Pasteurization (heating)

The heating is better known as pasteurization, and it serves to kill yeast (reducing chances of fermentation) and prevent crystallization/granulation. Pasteurization does kill bacteria too, but bacteria can't generally survive in honey so that's not one of the reasons for it here.

It's pretty easy to find more information about this by searching for honey pasteurization. For example, BeeMaid has a page about pasteurization.

I'm not really sure about the disguising origin theory, given that there are real reasons for this processing that don't sound like a conspiracy theory. I'm sure the processing does disguise the origin, but that doesn't mean that's why they do it. Besides, if you told the whole US that all their honey was from China, I doubt they'd stop buying it.


You also asked about cost difference. That doesn't really have an interesting answer; it's just that raw honey is not as widely sold and tends to be locally produced so it ends up more expensive, while non-raw honey is mass-produced and sold everywhere and ends up cheaper. Sure, it costs more to process than to not process, but mass-production is cheap. This isn't an unusual occurence; white flour is often cheaper than whole wheat, white bread is often cheaper than whole wheat, and so on.

  • you know I have something to say about this. I know all the big players in the US honey business personally. There is a lot more going on than customer expectations. A great deal of this question and its answers are very much the same as the GMO argument. – Escoce Mar 30 '16 at 21:03
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    @Escoce Can you elaborate? "The GMO argument" makes it sound like it's an issue about whether you have to label certain kinds of processing, which doesn't seem to address the question of why they do those kinds of processing. – Cascabel Mar 30 '16 at 21:05
  • No, I don't think it would end up being a healthy discussion. Just understand it's the same kind of discussion with just as much pressure from big money to sit down and shut up. – Escoce Mar 30 '16 at 21:06
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    @Escoce If you know a better answer, we'd all really love for you to actually tell us (whether as a comment here or as an answer of your own). – Cascabel Mar 30 '16 at 21:12

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