An unrelenting passion for real, raw,
Our determination is to bring to the world, a Honey entirely honest in nature, by keeping it RAW without the need for secondary processing.
Subjecting Manuka to high temperatures - just isn't in our thinking!
Commercially Processed Manuka Honey
Most Manuka honey produced is heated to high temperatures (66C or 150F) during production, they do this to...
• Destroy yeast spores which can cause the honey to ferment
• Melt the crystal to allow them to reconstitute the natural formation of honey crystals as part of the creaming process
• It also makes the honey easier to pour out of its storage containers in preparation for packing
The honey undergoes a secondary creaming process where heat is applied. Unfortunately, when honey is heated to these high temperatures it destroys some of the enzymatic properties, as well the flavours and aromas of the honey. The creaming process involves melting of the natural honey crystal and the addition of fine honey crystals to ‘seed’ the honey to take on uniform consistency. Furthermore, to help achieve a smooth and uniform consistency creamed honey undergoes filtration to remove any fine particles that may interfere with the ‘seeding’ process but in doing so has also been found to further remove beneficial nutrients.
CRAFTING NEW ZEALANDS FINEST MANUKA
At Steens we believe nature knows best and therefore when separating off the wax, using our proprietary whole comb technology™, we maintain temperatures that would only naturally occur in the bee hive. We control any undesirable fermentation in our honey by ensuring the moisture content of the honey is kept within very tight parameters.
This takes a lot more time and care but when dealing with one of the world’s most premium honeys, we believe it’s worth the effort!
WHAT DEfines RAW HONEY?
Numerous research studies have shown that food enzymes are sensitive to temperatures above 118 degrees Fahrenheit / 47.7 degrees Celsius.ⁱ It is for this reason that foods cannot be called ‘raw’ where they have been exposed to anything above this temperature. But there is more to achieving a ‘raw’ status with honey! Whereas pasteurisation is all about temperature, raw is also about maintaining the honey as it exists in the beehive. And to achieve a raw honey one must not fine filter the honey, as this removes the nutritious bee bread, pollens, enzymes and minerals.ⁱⁱ
UNPASTURISED VS RAW HONEY
Unfortunately, not all honey brands adopt these standards and we currently have a situation where the labelling of honey can be misleading with the lines being blurred between a honey which is pasteurised, unpasteurised and raw. For example, a honey producer could process their honey at 122 degrees Fahrenheit / 50 degrees Celsius, which is therefore unpasteurised but due to the temperature exceeding 118 degrees Fahrenheit / 47.7 degrees Celsius should not be classed as raw honey. Likewise, if the honey was fine filtered, regardless of temperature the honey was processed at, it should not be called raw.
HOW RAW IS YOUR HONEY?
The below graphic illustrates typical Manuka honey pasteurisation and ‘creaming’ processing temperatures. At Steens we are passionate about maintaining our honeys natural integrity with all its beneficial properties intact! To achieve this we maintain temperatures that only naturally occur in the beehive while minimally processing our honey. Learn more about Steens proprietary whole comb technology™ here.
BENEFITS OF STEENS RAW HONEY
Our minimal processing and low temperature technique does not denature the amino acids &
enzymes in our honey which allows our honey to have:
High Amino Acid (protein) profile
Higher nutrient content
Keeps the honey’s natural enzymes that aid digestion
A thicker, slightly grainy texture as the crystals are uneven in size – just as nature intended them to be!
Steens Raw Honey
Vitamins, minerals & nutrients remain intact
Packed with enzymes & amino acids
Thicker consistency, slightly grainy texture
Amazing aromas and flavour profile
Contains Bee Bread
Creamed (Pasteurised) Honey
Nutrients lost in the heating process
Enzymes are destroyed
Smooth, refined & creamy appearance
Diminished flavour profile
Minimal bee bread. It is filtered out during the fine filtering
ALL THIS BEGS THE QUESTION - WHY PASTEURISE OR EVEN HEAT HONEY?
For those wanting more information, the following seeks to shed some light on this topic, along with the challenge we face with ‘green washing’ and lack of policing around raw food labelling.
The origins of pasteurising foods goes back the turn of last century. It is typically used in food processing to achieve food preservation.
Honey is pasteurised to control crystallisation and eliminate fermentation via killing yeast cells however in doing so it destroys some of the nutritional properties including enzymes.
Studies have shown that food enzymes are damaged at temperatures over 40C / 104F.
Most Manuka honeys marketed as raw honey are infact creamed honeys that have been heated several times and pasteurised at 66C / 150F.
To determine if your honey has been pasteurised or raw - ask the brand what the maximum temperature the honey has been exposed to.