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Raw honey vs regular honey…is there really a difference?

A question we are often asked is raw honey vs regular honey; what’s the difference? This article will identify the differences between pure raw honey and processed (regular) honey.

What is raw honey vs regular honey?

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) defines honey as: “the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from nectar of blossoms, which bees transform themselves within the beehive into honey.” 

Raw honey is generally described as: “honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.”

Here are 4 main differences between raw honey vs regular honey.


1. Raw honey isn’t processed

Raw honey (like our AB’s Honey) undergoes minimal processing. If required, gentle low-temperature warming – no hotter than a warm summer’s day – allows it to flow for bottling. A light straining is all that’s required to remove larger particles such as wax, leaves, and non-honey debris. This gentle treatment allows the honey to retain all of its micronutrirents and goodness, just as the bees prefer it.

Regular commercially-produced honey often undergoes intense processing, including pasteurisation and ultrafiltration. Pasteurised honey is heated to very high temperatures, which destroys much of the goodness found in honey. Ultrafiltration slows down the rate of crystallisation (a natural occurence that is a sign of pure honey) and increases shelf life.

2. Regular honey is not always honey (I can’t believe it’s not honey!)

In simple terms, raw honey is extracted from the beehive, strained and poured straight into the bottle – so what you get is just as it was collected from the hives. Regular honey is often heavily processed and may have sugars, (including corn and glucose syrups) added to increase the volume of honey, reduce its cost and extend its shelf-life. A recent investigation into commercial honey in Australia revealed almost 50% of honey tested was adulterated; and 12 of the 28 samples tested were not 100 percent pure honey.

3. Most Regular Honey Doesn’t Contain Any Pollen

Bee pollen is collected along with nectar by honey bees. While we often focus on honey, bee pollen has been shown to be highly nutritious, containing over 250 substances, including vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidants. Bee pollen is recognised as medicine by the German Federal Ministry of Health and has been linked to remarkable health benefits, including reducing inflammation

Unfortunately, pasteurisation and other processing methods like ultrafiltration used in regular, commercially produced honey may remove any traces of bee pollen. A study conducted in 2011 showed that over 75% of commercial honey in the USA – which included a lot of cheaply imported honey – contained no pollen at all.

AB’s Honey sells only Australian honey from real Australian beekeepers.

4. Raw Honey Is More Nutritious

Raw honey has been shown to contain “several physiologically important amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids and all nonessential amino acids except for glutamine and asparagine”. In addition, 31 different minerals were detected, “including all of the major minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium.” Many studies link these antioxidants with health benefits, including reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Commercially produced honey, i.e. honey that is heavily processed and filtered, removes beneficial nutrients like pollen, enzymes and antioxidants.

Now that you know the difference between raw vs regular honey, we encourage you to try Australia’s best raw honey – AB’s Honey.

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Our honey is 100% pure, raw, Australian honey. The products available from Simply Honey are sourced by the AB’s Team from our network of renowned beekeepers. Our honey is not pasteurised, processed or mixed with imports and fillers.

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Public Holiday Monday 6 May 2024

We are closed on Monday 6 May 2024. Any orders received after midday Friday 3 May 2024 will be dispatched on our return Tuesday 7 May 2024.

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