Friday, October 24, 2008

Honey's Osmotic Action Inhibits Growth of Microbes

How Do Bees Convert Nectar from Flowers into Honey?
The Hindu, 10/23/2008

The conversion of nectar in to honey by honeybees involves both physical and chemical changes. Nectar obtained from the flowers by bees is composed primarily of the disaccharide sugar, sucrose, and the monosaccharide sugars, glucose and fructose.

The concentration and composition of these sugars in the nectar vary from plant species to species. Other constituents that have been identified in nectars include amino acids, vitamins, secondary metabolites such as alkaloids and flavonoids and even some minerals. The taste and colour of honey is affected by all these constituents in the nectar…

The high osmotic nature (low available water content) of honey also helps inhibit the growth of microbes.

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