The adulteration of honey, the adsorbent resin

laboratorioa para la adulteración de la miel

At the end of February 2016, the American Honey Producers Association received an official letter from U.S. government authorities, confirming the application of “resin technology” (translated into Spanish as adsorbent resin) in the honey industry, which is being used for the adulteration of this product in unfair competition.

From the Cortijuelo de San Benito we only offer pure, raw and true honey. To confirm this, we have visited all our beekeepers and their facilities. Here, in our physical and online shop, you will find the best honeys; orange blossom, lavender, rosemary, thyme,… more than 30 varieties, national and international.

On how to differentiate between raw and pure quality honey, you can read our next article: Where to buy pure or raw quality honey.

High technology in the adulteration of honey

According to this letter, the use of this technology is currently being used in honeys of very diverse origin and very deteriorated in order to put them on the market and to lower prices. This letter also denounces that the honeys that have been subjected to this process should not be labelled and sold as honey.

Resin technology’ is a process of adulteration of honey that has been used for the last few years to hide its origin and eliminate any trace of contamination and antibiotics.

The American honey industry is very much aware of the serious damage that the use of this technology is causing in this sector, causing the collapse of honey prices worldwide. Over the last few years, honey prices have only fallen, falling by 40 to 50% from their previous levels.

The collapse of honey prices causes great damage in many different sectors: firstly, local beekeepers have to work for ridiculously low prices or end up abandoning beekeeping, secondly, honest importers and packagers see how they cannot compete by selling national and quality honeys, and thirdly, it creates environmental and food chain problems, as we will now see in some depth.

The disappearance of beekeeping endangers agriculture and its production, as honey bees are the vital pollinators of crops. Many people believe that a disappearance of honey bees is automatically replaced by wild bees and other insects, but this is not the case, as it happens in regions of China or in the fields of California almond trees in the United States, crops are left unpollinating due to lack of pollinators and flowers can not bear fruit by not fertilizing. Extending this situation to the rest of the planet would lead to a catastrophe.

As far as food safety is concerned, these adulterations of honey cause serious risks for the population, since they hide their origins and, in the event of possible poisoning, they cannot find the source of the problem.

The adsorbent resin process is a legal process that is used in different types of foods to eliminate antibiotics and contaminants, but in honey it is a fairly innovative process. Chinese manufacturing companies began to offer this technological process of honey openly and aggressively to producers and exporters 2 or 3 years ago.

Advantages of this technology in the handling of honey

This technology offers the following advantages:

  1. It masks the origin of honey and cannot be discovered with the scientific methods and methodologies currently employed.
  2. Eliminates not only pollen, but also antibiotics and residues found in honey, thus reducing any risk to importers, exporters and packers in their marketing.
  3. Eliminates any chemical components that color the honey, allowing tropical and semi-tropical countries to export a large amount of white honey.
  4. Eliminates chemical components that add flavor and aroma to honey, allowing you to customize its aroma and flavor to the taste of the seller, ie you can sell the honey a la carte, mixing it with pollen and aromas you want.

According to the manufacturers, producers and sellers of adosrbente resin (Resin technology), this process was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making it a legal and permitted activity.

However, the FDA has also notified that this honey going through these processes should not be labelled as honey, i.e. it should be labelled differently.

 

Sources:

Publication of the American Association of Beekeepers:  http://www.ahpanet.com/page/IntlHoneyMarket

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