Good quality honey is honey that is not altered or blended with other substances, like molasses or corn syrup, is considered to be good quality honey.
Also, it should have a water content of 18% or less.
Higher levels of water can cause fermentation in the honey which will cause it to lose its freshness.
Quite a few honey experts consider gourmet honey to be ones that have been only slightly heated up and strained.
This minimal processing lets the honey retain almost all of its antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, without substantially affecting its flavor and nutritional qualities.
Today, many food products are sweetened with corn syrup, including honey.
You need to read the label on the honey container before you buy it, so you know what you are getting.
Research studies have shown that most grocery store "honey" isn't the real product, instead, it's honey-flavored corn syrup.
Many of these products also contain preservatives, glucose, sugar syrup, dextrose, flour and starch.
A lot of people think good quality honey is clean looking and very clear.
But that's not true. Honey that contains high pollen content will appear cloudy looking.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that real honey must contain pollen.
Good quality honey is usually lightly filtered to remove wax, bee parts, and other debris.
This filtration process leaves most of the pollen and it also helps honey to have a longer shelf life.
The ultra filtration process removes most of the pollen and also mixes water into the honey.
The resulting product isn't considered real honey but it's often labelled as such.
All unpasteurized or raw honey contains wild yeasts.
These yeasts don't cause any problems when your honey has a low water content.
But when your honey contains higher levels of water it could result in fermentation when it's being stored.
Fermentation will increase the acid levels which will change the flavor and color of your honey.
Honey that's in the hive can easily absorb moisture in the air.
In many areas that have high humidity, it is very difficult to produce honey that has a low water content.
Raw honey that has a moisture content of 14% or lower, is regarded as high quality by many people.
You can easily judge the relative level of water in two different jars of honey.
Take two well-sealed containers, that are from different sources, turn them upside down and look at the bubbles as they rise.
Bubbles will rise faster in honey that contains more water.
Just make sure both jars are the same temperature when you conduct this test.
Many people don't understand the health benefits that honey with pollen can offer.
Unfiltered or raw honey may look unattractive, but it does contain many natural ingredients that are good for you.
The next time you are shopping for good quality honey, remember to read the label to be sure you are really buying honey and not some honey flavored product.