We often talk about our honey being cold extracted, and it is a key part of our process and the Wild Nectar difference, but have you been wondering ‘what does it mean’? And why is it so special?
It all starts with our passion for beekeeping and the incredible properties of natural honey. As beekeepers we know the best honey is fresh from the hive, and should have the very least intervention possible before bottling in order not to disturb or destroy the naturally occurring enzymes in raw honey.
In practice, many honey brands ‘heat treat’ or ‘pasteurise’ the honey before they bottle it for sale, and there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, honey is viscous and many honey brands use honey from multiple beekeepers which they blend, so in order to increase viscosity for easier blending and packaging the honey is heated. The second reason is that heat treated honey takes longer to crystallise, so it can be sold as older product on shelf.
Although it never goes ‘off’, honey is best consumed as fresh as possible. Partly this is because the naturally occurring sugar structures in honey crystallise over time, particularly in colder temperatures, making it less runny. This honey is perfectly delicious and edible – and in fact is a sign that you have bought genuinely raw honey. Heat treated honey, although it does not crystallise so readily, darkens and caramelises over time. The taste is completely different and so are the sugar structures. Of course, some varietals of honey such as Chestnut and Blackbutt are naturally darker in colour, but a ‘blended’ honey does not usually start off a deep colour but becomes dark over time in storage.
So what is the difference with Wild Nectar honey? Our honey is cold extracted from the hive, which means it is not pasteurised in the process of extraction or bottling. It is gently warmed for extraction viscosity, but not above a naturally occurring hive temperature or external heat on a hot day. This retains its raw honey qualities and natural structures. We believe the quality and taste difference is very noticeable, especially for Australian consumers who appreciate and are used to local honeys with high eucalyptus content.
So be proud of the cloud! The raw is the draw! And enjoy the benefits of cold extracted honey.