Oil in honey

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Mrs. Davis, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Mrs. Davis

    Mrs. Davis Member

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    Good evening!

    A local beekeeper mentioned to me that commercial honey is allowed to have up to 25% soybean oil as an ingredient without having to denote that on the ingredient label.

    Can someone tell me if this is true or not?

    I've tried to do a search but cannot locate anything that confirms or denies this.

    Warmly,
    Mrs. Davis in SE Ohio
     
  2. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I never have heard of that, However theres A type of Socalled honey that has up to 50% cornsyrup in it. Where in Ohio are you as theres afew good bee keepers in the S E part of the state. Oil would be A contaminte ? in pure honey and anything thats added has to be listed....
     

  3. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    I think your local beekeeper is on glue. Anything in the honey has to be on the label. I have never even heard of soybean oil being used as an additive to honey, but I am pretty sure that I would not want to eat any honey or any other food product that contains 25 % soybean oil.

    I sincerely hope that the beekeeper is not trying to sell you honey which has been adulterated- if he is I would contact your local or state food safety inspector and report it.
     
  4. Mrs. Davis

    Mrs. Davis Member

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    No, this beekeeper was telling me this so that I would buy local honey instead of commercial honey, which I already do. I just wondered if what he said was true or not before I mention it to other people to warn them from commercial honey. If not, I don't plan to mention it.


    Yes, I am quite familiar with the many good beekeepers in SE Ohio :)

    Warmly,
    Tonya Davis
     
  5. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of reasons why you might prefer to buy honey from a local beekeeper, but soybean oil adulteration is not one of them, as far as I know, and if any other beekeepers here know anything about this I would appreciate it if you would pass along the information to me.

    When people ask about purchasing local honey from me I can list half a dozen legitemate reasons why doing so would be beneficial. I'm not sure I'd buy honey from someone who would resort to a yarn like you've been spun- either the man is dishonest, an idiot, or I know a lot less about bees and honey than I think I do, lol.
     
  6. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Mrs. Davis,

    It is illegal to adulterate honey with anything and sell it in the U.S.A. as pure honey. There are both Federal laws and laws in most states (I won't say all as I'm not sure that all states have such laws).

    For example, if you go to Kentucky Fried Chicken and ask for honey they will give you packets that say "Honey Syrup". Look at the ingredient list.

    If you have reason to suspect that honey you have purchased has been adulterated, you should report it to your State Department of Agriculture.

    Mike
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Soybean HONEY is possible, but I have never heard of soybean oil in honey.
     
  8. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's actually not true. It only has to be a percentage pure unadultarated honey to be sold as pure. Don't remember the percentage offhand for honey. It's the same reason 100% wool only has to contain 92% wool, and 100% goose down only has to contain 80% goose down.

    As for the original question about 25% soybean oil being allowed in "commercial" honey (there is no such designation actually), I doubt it. That's a very high percentage for food grade products. I did a quick search on it and could find no information supporting the claim.
     
  9. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Then your search was a bit too quick. [ame]http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pure+honey+law[/ame] Notice all the laws that describe requirements for labelling honey?

    Here's a link to a U.S. Dept. of Justice press release regarding people indicted of selling honey mixed with corn syrup as honey http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/Pre_96/January95/47.txt.html.

    I could present a lot more links but I think this is sufficient.

    Mike
     
  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "...pure, as defined by law..."
     
  11. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Mike is right, foxtrapper. If it is labelled as honey, it has to be 100 percent pure honey, no additives or adulterants. If it is not pure honey then it must be labelled as such.

    In labelling varietal honeys, the plant listed as the source (clover, orange blossom, buckwheat, etc) must be the predominant nectar source, but it does not have to be derived 100% from that source. Interestingly, a lot of orange blossom honey doesn't come from orange trees at all, but from grapefruit, lemon, lime, and other citrus trees.
     
  12. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Y'all just aren't getting it. It's in the legal definition of the wording. We're not simply talking technical definition. Though even that gets interesting, as there never has been 100% pure honey, ever, in the history of the bee.

    All honey is contaminated. Be it from pollen, wax, bug parts, tree bark, etc. Nicely, this is allowed for under the consumer product laws. The degree of contamination allowed varies depending on the local laws, how they are written, and what products we are talking about. I even gave some examples of this.
     
  13. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Foxtrapper, I guess I'll have to respond that y'all aren't getting it.

    There is a difference between naturally occurring items (pollen, wax, insect parts) and items intentionally added. The question was about soybean oil being added and the response given was about anything being added. That has to do with both the legal AND technical definitions.

    Mike
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Foxtrapper, 100% honey is 100% as in nature. If that includes pollen, bee parts, or anything else, then that is part of the honey. The conversation is about ADDED substances that are not found in honey naturally. Whatever is in the honey when you take it from the hive, even if it includes undesirables, it is still 100% honey until you add your own substance.
     
  15. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    The fact is that people have been eating "pure honey" for centuries. In some parts of the world this includes brood, smoke particles, an occasional bee and whatever else happens to be on the comb when harvested.

    I never extract a comb that has any brood comb whatever. I do not smoke my bees when extracting--I blow the bees out of the supers. I use as fine a strainer cloth as is practical to exclude bee parts (if you do not crush bees you have no bee parts) and wax particles. Pollen in some amount will go thru anything other than a high pressure filter as used by the bigger commercial firms.

    Nevertheless, I know when I eat my honey that it includes whatever the bees brought in with them. (Remember that babies under a year old should not eat honey because of the danger of E. coli. Bees just love to drink rainwater that collects on cow patties.)
    Ox
     
  16. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Ox,

    You are incorrect about the warning regarding Children under 1 year of age. The reason for the warning is botulism. I refer you to The National Institute of Health : http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001384.htm
     
  17. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tsk tsk tsk. Some (all) of you folks need to read the USDA definitions and learn about the terms you freely and blindly are throwing around. Like I've been saying these terms are legally defined, and do not mean what they sound like.
     
  18. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Show us the error of our ways foxtrapper. I've provided you with links that show state laws and federal requirements/laws. If the only response you can give is that we should believe you and not our eyes and ears then I guess there isn't much room for further discussion. First you claim there is a difference between technical description and legal description. I provided a response that pointed to the laws and statutes. Now you say we don't understand the law. Please point to exactly what we don't understand as far as the law (both Federal and at the state level).

    I'm speaking as someone who runs multiple inspected apiaries and has our honey processing operation inspected as well.

    Thanks in advance.

    Mike
     
  19. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i worked in a food production factory making ready to eat product for many years. i think the percentages ( i have no idea if they exist or not), could be explained by the methods of processing being used. for example, maybe a company mass produces/bottles/prepares various products. the equiptment would normally be cleaned and or flushed between runs and different products. this requires downtime and a cleaning cycle,whatever the process may be. companies have and are working with state, local and federal agencies to lighten the restrictions on "gmp's". i worked in an ice cream factory that used to produce for 18 hours a day and clean-up for 6. the line i worked on went to 46 and 2. it ran ready to eat dairy product on the same machines for 46 hours before a sanitation was performed on a routine basis. the fda and other state agencies approved limited "emergency" runs of up to 72 hours, to be determined by the management,that was utilized.

    another aspect of the process is the potential for cross-contamination of one product to another albeit sanitary. the recent awareness of the threat of allergens in food have lead to better labeling and more attention to manufacturing practices. for example, if peanut butter is used in a product, it is labeled to contain an allergen. before running another product that is labeled not to contain peanuts, the machinery must be cleaned. i have seen products that state that they were made using machinery that processed foods that contain nuts. i suppose this is one way to warn people without having the down time of sanitation.

    so finally, maybe it is possible that some agency allows manufacturers to process soybean oil and honey on the same machinery. if so, they may need to label it . maybe they do not and the story leaked that some honey had oil in it. who knows, lol. just my 2 cents. it is worth half that.