People are usually buying their “organic” honey from stores, but did you know that there is real and fake honey? There is no way to know which honey is which without checking the purity of the product, but this article will show you how to perform the test at home and help you learn how to recognize real honey.

Why’s factory produced honey not good for you?

Due to the manufacturing process, processed honey loses all its helpful nutrients as well as its quality. The food industry commonly practices ultrafiltration of honey in order to prevent the tracing of the geo source of the honey, which is usually low in quality and imported illegally from China or India. Professor Vaughn Bryant, an expert in the field, claims that 75% of the honey found on the market contains no pollen.

Thankfully, a few simple tricks will make you learn how to recognize organic and factory produced honey.

What is fake honey?

Fake honey is the so-called adulterated impure or artificial honey which is often mixed with sugar syrups, molasses, corn syrup and other flavors and additives. According to a test performed by GHgeochem, “If pure honey has been adulterated with corn syrup, the isotope ratio will fall some way between the two values and hence adulteration will have been proved.” This clearly shows that most “pure” honey products you buy have corn syrup in them.

What is pure honey?

Organic, raw honey doesn’t come from the factory of course. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find this type of honey with the stores branding their products as “real” or “organic” honey most of the time.

Checking the honey purity at home says that most store bought honey products are almost always diluted with molasses and sugar syrup in order to boost the producers’ profits. To make it thicker, they also add flour, sand, sawdust or ground chalk! Here’s how to check the purity of the honey you bought:

The thumb test

Put a little honey on your thumb, then check if it spills or sticks – real honey should stick on your thumb instead of spilling.

The water test

Fill a glass with water then add a tablespoon of honey in it. Fake honey will dissolve fast, while the real honey will drop to the bottom of the glass.

Real honey is flammable!

Dip a dry match in the honey, then strike it to see if it lights. If the honey is real, the match will light up easily, and the flame will keep burning off the honey. If the honey is fake, the matchstick won’t light up due to the impurities and moisture it contains.

You can also check the purity of your honey if you add some water and 2-3 drops of vinegar in a small amount of the honey. If the solution becomes foamy, the honey is fake.

How to tell the difference between real and fake honey

Examining the physical qualities of the honey will easily show you the difference between real and fake honey. However, in order to notice impurities, you need to have some practice first.

Fake honey properties


Runny, drips easily

Has a rough texture and clumps

Separates into layers

Has a sour smell or doesn’t smell at all

Real honey properties

Doesn’t foam

Trickles in a stream and is always thick

It has a soft texture

Doesn’t separate in layers

Has the usual honey aroma

Without knowing the differences, it’s easy to fall for any artificial product. Artificial honey doesn’t have the qualities or properties of real honey – it’s a synthetic preparation easily absorbed by the body.