How To Know If The Honey You’re Buying Is Not Fake

It's sweet but is it pure honey?

Honey has been called liquid gold, and it’s not just because it’s a gorgeous golden hue. For those who love drizzling it on their pancakes, use it to sweeten their teas, and adding it to their baked goods, you may think that you’re using the real thing.

Are you sure that’s real honey you’re using in your food? 

According to a news report published last December 2020 by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI), a whopping 80% of honey sold in supermarkets, souvenir shops, and online platforms were found by the researchers of the institute to contain sugar or were not pure honey. Furthermore, 82% of the honey sold were not only adulterated, or contained ingredients other than honey, but were also almost completely made of sugar syrup, not honey. While honey contains different kinds of sugar, this level of adulteration rendered the “honey” as not honey. 

Photo by Patrick Martires

The good news is that we have a law that governs the labeling of prepackaged food. This includes a complete list of ingredients. Plus, the Philippine National Standard for Honey under the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) states outright that honey that is sold in the Philippine market “shall not have added to it any food ingredient, including food additives, nor shall any other additions be made other than honey.” 


Only those food products that conform to these standards can be labeled “honey”.

So the question lies: how can you tell the difference between real honey and fake honey? 

The only way you can tell if it’s pure honey without opening the jar is to read the label. Check the ingredients list. If it conforms to these standards as all marketed products should, it should be easy to read that it contains honey and only honey. Should it contain anything else other than honey, it’s adulterated already and is not pure. 


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