Honey as an Ingredient
Are you looking to use honey as an ingredient in your products? Honey is one of the most versatile commodities available on earth, offering companies who are developing healthy products a multitude of advantages over other sweeteners.
Here's an overview of the main benefits of using Honey as an ingredient:
- It's Nutritious: In its natural state honey contains a wealth of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. Flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants, are also found in honey. The key to acquiring nutritious honey is in ensuring the honey is raw, all-natural, and unadulterated. Since heating honey can kill the healthy enzymes it contains, acquiring unheated honey is critical to ensuring you're adding nutritious honey to your products.
- It's an All-Natural Sweetener: Honey is an all-natural sweetener, enabling companies to remove artificial sugars from their products and replace them with a healthy alternative. As honey is slightly sweeter than sugar, less can be used to achieve the same amount of sweetness. Doing so also allows companies to move to a clean label, showing their customers that only naturally healthy ingredients are included.
- It Offers Distinct Flavors: Honey has hundreds of unique varietals, each harvested from a different floral source with its own nectar. The nectar, and attributes of the plant that produces it, greatly determines the resultant flavor of honey the bees create from it. This enables honey to offer food scientists an array of distinct flavors which can impact the flavor of the products it's added to. Whereas sugar is just sweet, one major advantage to using honey is the diversity of flavors it offers.
- It Provides Natural Energy: Honey is a natural source of carbohydrates, providing 17 grams per tablespoon. Since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses, honey can help maintain muscle glycogen, also known as stored carbohydrates. Our bodies tap into this stored fuel for a natural boost of energy when we need it the most.
- It Adds Moisture: Unlike granulated or powdered sugars, honey is a liquid sweetener with a built-in moisture attribute. It is a humectant. This gets transferred to the end product to add moisture, help baked goods retain their moisture, and extend its overall shelf life.
- Its a Thickening Agent: Due to its thick, smooth texture honey is an emulsifier, serving as a natural thickening agent for sauces, dressings, compotes, and more.
- It Balances Tastes: Honey is the perfect ingredient to modify, mask, and balance a range of tastes including spicy, salty, bitter, and sour.
- It Extends Shelf Life: Honey's natural antifungal properties aid in the fighting of bacteria, which helps the foods it's added to last longer on the shelf!
According to the National Honey Board "Honey's popularity can be attributed to its 'triple threat' of flavor, function, and versatility, not to mention its unique story." Learn more