Fake honey is everywhere. How to know the difference?

We all like honey. It is super-sweet, delicious, and makes our tea taste better. Next time you spend some time in the honey aisle wondering whether you should buy a pricey premium artisanal honey or store-brand nectar in a plastic bear, think twice before making your decision.

There are numerous fake honey brands on the market, so here is how to spot them:

Carefully Read The Label

You need to initially read the label before buying honey, in order to check for additives, as produces are obliged to label the content and the percentage by a certain amount.


While real honey crystallizes over time, fake honey keeps its liquid, syrup-like composition.
Water and Honey

Soak the honey in water, and if it melts, it is fake, as real honey dissolves into the water and after the water cools, it forms in clumps on the bottom of the container.


Heat up a few teaspoons of the honey in the microwave, and if it is real, it caramelizes. Yet, if it becomes foamy and bubbly, it is adulterated honey.

Honey and Bread

Spread some honey on a slice of fresh bread, and if natural, the bread will harden. In the case of fake honey, the surface of the bread will become damp.


Fake honey is high in water, so try putting a few drops of your honey on a sheet of paper, and if it gets absorbed, it is adulterated. All-natural honey won’t absorb in the paper.

If you are worried about the quality of the honey you are buying, make sure you always buy honey from trusted markets and natural food stores.

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Rachell S. Anderson, Senior Writer

Written by Rachell S. Anderson, Senior Writer

Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a masters degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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