Skip to main content

value added products of honey

Posted in

Value added products of honey

Shiwani Bhatnagar,GBPUAT



Honey is the best known primary products of beekeeping. It is the most wonderful gift of god and Mother Nature to mankind. Honey is a sweet liquid gathered by honeybees from nectar or other secretions of plants which they transform by addition of enzymes and evaporation of water in it. According to the general definition of honey in the Codex Alimentarius(1989) in which all commercially required characteristics of the products are described "Honey is the natural sweet substance produced by honeybees from the nectar of blossoms or from the secretion of living parts of plants or excretion of plant sucking insects on the living parts of plants, which honeybees collect, transform and combine with specific substances of their own, store and leave in the honey comb to ripen and mature". Because of the quality and some times almost mystical reputation and characteristics of most honey, their addition to other products usually enhances the value or quality of secondary products. For this reason, the secondary products, which partially or wholly, can be made up of honey, are referred as "Value added" products from honey (Krell, 1996).

 Honey as a sugar substitute 

Honey can replace cane sugar in almost any recipe. When substituting most or all of the sugar with honey, mild flavoured honeys may be more desirable as they will not overpower other flavours of the product. Most cookery books recommended the use of 1 cup of honey for 1 1/4 cups of sugar as honey has greater sweeting power per volume than sugar (LaBell,1988).

 Honey as food 

Honey can be consumed or used in the state in which they were produced by the bees.Sweetness, nutritive value and functional advantages like viscosity, flavour enhancement, colour, hygroscopicity, miscibility and spread ability etc. makes honey a valuable food ingredient.

 Honey as a food ingredient 

Apart from thousands of home-made recipes, honey has been used in many applications, including baking, confectionary, preserves and syrups, meat, tobacco manufacture and other minor applications (Tuley, 1989).

 Honey in bakery products 

To baked products honey confers several advantages such as uniform baking with more evenly browned crust at lower temperatures, improved aroma by relatively small percentages of honey (up to 6% by weight of the flour) in sweet cakes, biscuits, bread etc.,spongy consistency which persist longer, and softness. Products that contain honey also dry out more slowly and have a lesser tendency to crack.

 Honey in milk products 

The biblical designation, "a land flowing with milk and honey" should be suggestive enough to combine honey with dairy products. Honey cream, honey cream cheese, honey butter are whole-some combination. In the industrial sector some non-medicinal honey-milk products exist, such as pasteurized and homogenized milk sweetened with honey for long-term storage. Honey-milk is prepared with dried milk powder plus 25% honey and 10% glucose (Spottel, 1950). Another product is yoghurt with honey (Spanish Dairy Corp.1975). In yoghurt, honey is mixed at the rate of 10 to 15 % either before or after fermentation. 

Honey in confectionary products 

For the production of caramels (bonbons) honey is used only in very small quantities. The chocolate industry uses honey in only a few products. Some confectionary products having honey as ingredients are Honey gums, Nougat and Torrone, Caramels and Candies.

 Honey in breakfast cereal industry 

In the breakfast cereal industry honey is used either in its liquid or in its dried and pulverized form. It can be mixed or applied as a component of the sweeting and flavouring film which covers the flakes.

 Honey with fruits and nuts 

Sun dried fruits/nuts can be placed directly into the honey, either whole or chopped. Pasteurization of both honey and fruits improves the hygiene and storability and reduces the risk of fermentation.

 Honey in spreads 

A variety of spreads for bread are available in the market. There are products in which honey is either the major ingredient, such as flavoured honeys, or in which it only substitutes for sugar as a cream spreads and fruit preserves. Fruit marmalade uses less sugar than other traditional recipes, yet preserve well.

 Honey in non-alcoholic beverages 

Honey drinks are most frequently mixed with lemon juice for a pleasant sweet and sour taste. In many fruit juices too, honey is added for flavour and as sweetener. In apple juice it is used to clarify the fresh juice. Ice tea can be flavoured and clarified with the addition of honey and lemon juices.

 Fermentation products of honey 

Honey is used in making alcoholic drinks by fermentation. Those drinks are popularly known as honey beer, mead, wines. Honey beer is easier and faster to make than mead. It cannot be stored for more than a few hours but once it has become flat, it may be revitalized by addition of more honey. The higher the honey content though, the better the beer is considered. Mead taste and quality depends upon fermentation, quality of various ingredients, characteristics and taste of the selected honey.

Honey is the most important and well known product of beekeeping. In regard to food or health, there are no synthetic substances which can substitute for the wide variety of characteristics of honey.


Codex Alimentarius Comission 1989.Codex standards for sugards (honey).Supplement 2 to Codex Alimentarius volume III .Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization, Rome.

Krell,1996.Value-added products from beekeeping.FAO agricultural services bulletin no.124, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.http:/

La Bell, F. 1988.Honey :Traditional food finds new uses.Food Process.11:111-114.

Spanish Dairy Coorporation 1975. Preparation of yoghurt wih honey.In:International Symposium on Apitherapy, Madrid. Apimondia publishing house, Bucharest, Rumania, p.55-56.

Spottel,W.1950. (Honey and dried milk). J.A. Barth,Leipzig, Germany,p.323.

Tuley,L.1989. Don't forget the honey.Food Manuf. 64:24-25.











Your rating: None

Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.