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Honey from solar extractor

  • 26 Feb 2017 8:31 AM
    Message # 4634673

    After placing our extracted frames in the solar extrater we end up with both wax and the heated honey which has a look and consistency of treacle,as there is a considerable amount of this over heated honey what can we do with it

    Tony and Judy


  • 28 Feb 2017 10:48 AM
    Reply # 4638164 on 4634673
    Andrew Wootton (Administrator)

    This is a bit tricky as we commonly heat sugars in cooking (eg caramel) and consume these without a thought.

    Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is a chemical compound that is formed from carbohydrates, especially fructose, under thermal and/or acid-catalyzed degradation conditions. HMF is widely recognized as a marker of quality deterioration, resulting from excessive heating or inappropriate storage conditions in a wide range of foods including juices, jams, syrups and honey.

    In fact, the Codex Alimentarius of the World Health Organization and the European Union (EU Directive 110/2001) have defined a maximum HMF quality level in honey as 40 mg/kg as a deterioration and heat treatment indicator for temperate regions and 80 mg/kg for tropical climates.

    Numerous studies have shown that HMF can be toxic to adult honey bees. A level of 150 ppm HMF caused significantly increased mortality within 20 days in caged bees. A concentration of 30 ppm HMF, which is below the maximum allowed in honey, did not cause a significant difference in mortality of adults.

    Fresh honey usually contains no or low amounts of HMF. Short-term heating for 60 seconds at 100ºC caused an increase of HMF concentration from 3.9 to 10.1 ppm HMF.  Exposure to 75ºC for 24 hours resulted in HMF concentrations from 43.4 to 226 ppm HMF.

    The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) concluded that 5-HMF does not possess a particular toxic potential to humans. According to the experimental studies presently available it could not be shown that 5-HMF has any relevance for human health with regard to possible carcinogenic and genotoxic effects.

    So in conclusion, your solar heater will have produced temperatures well in excess of 63ºC (melting temperature of bees wax) and probably over 100ºC.  I don't think I would feed it to bees, but would probably be OK with eating small quantities if it still tastes good.

    References:

    Clarence Collison "A Closer Look: Feeding Sugar Syrup"  http://www.beeculture.com/a-closer-look-feeding-sugar-syruphmi/

    http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/according-to-the-current-state-of-scientific-knowledge-5-hmf-concentrations-occuring-in-foods-do-not-give-rise-to-safety.pdf

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