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Greg Martin Honey Filtering Myths
by Greg Martin, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: November 08, 11

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Honey Filtering Myths. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

A new article out yesterday in the Food Safety News may have some people scratching their heads and wondering if they have been duped. The article by Andrew Schneider states that most store bought honey is...not honey. And his conclusion is that when ultra-filtering is used that removes the pollen and therefore it is no long honey. Bruce Boynton is the CEO for the National Honey Board and he says thats is very misleading.

BOYNTON: He’s using the term ultra-filtering incorrectly. He’s loosely using the term and throwing it around throughout the article. It’s used incorrectly so it’s misleading. Ultra-filtration is a specific kind of filtration that is used in the food industry but it’s not generally used by the honey industry.

When ultra-filtration is used on honey it truly does become something other than honey. Many foreign companies use it as a clear sweetener for soft drinks and it is not marketed as honey.

BOYNTON: Generally in the United States ultra-filtration is not used. The packers in this country don’t use ultra-filtration, it’s too expensive and they don’t need to do it. They do filter honey through different methods. Certain types of filtration does remove pollen but that’s not a bad thing or illegal thing or wrong thing. In fact in the USDA grading standards for extracted honey, it talks about the removal of pollen grains and other particulates in honey as part of the filtration process

Most U.S. consumers prefer to purchase clearer honey.

BOYNTON: They don’t want a cloudy product and it also delays granulation. Any particulates on honey including pollen will help honey crystalize faster on the shelf and people want a clear, liquid, golden honey on the shelf. We do have information on our website about filtration. He also makes the claim that honey that has been - and again he use the term ultra-filtered and therefore removing the pollen, it’s no longer honey and the headline of his article I think is outrageous.

But to again clarify, ultra-filtration of honey does make it into something else but then it is not marketed as honey. The story also mentions that more than 60 jars of honey from everyday stores were tested and most did not contain pollen. Boynton says...

BOYNTON: Tests show that most store honey isn’t honey - well he sampled some honey and tested it and it didn’t have pollen but that’s a normal process of filtration methods that are used in this country but for the most part honey that’s on the shelves is honey. And just because it doesn’t have pollen in it doesn’t mean it’s not honey.

For more information visit www.honey.com.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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