Honey powder goes by many names including granulated honey and dried honey. They all refer to honey that has been dehydrated to the point that it becomes a solid. High fructose honey tends to crystallize naturally and so it is likely that the use of honey powder has been around as long as humans have been consuming honey.
Honey’s use has been documented all the way back to ancient Egypt where it was used as an important dietary supplement as well as for embalming bodies. There are cave paintings estimated to be 8,000 years old that also show people hunting for bees’ nests to harvest honey. Both the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans utilized honey as both a medicine and a food.
Modern honey powder is made by spray drying it into a powder using high heat. Stabilizers such as maltodextrin may be added to it to ensure that the powder flows freely.
Flavor profile of honey powder
Honey powder is primarily sweet with a flavor that is identical to that of liquid honey. The only difference is in the area of texture. You can turn honey powder into liquid honey with the addition of water.
Health benefits of honey powder
Honey is low in essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, but it does have various characteristics that are beneficial for health.
- Rich in antioxidants: Research has found that honey contains antioxidant polyphenols. Antioxidants help to scavenge free radicals and slow the processes that cause diseases. Researchers in one study discovered that the more honey participants in the study ate, the higher the polyphenol concentration in their blood.
- Low on the glycemic index: The glycemic index of honey can vary significantly depending on the fructose content, but it is usually lower on the glycemic index than sugar. In some cases, it is much lower. The higher a food item is on the glycemic index, the faster it will make your blood sugar and insulin levels spike. Note: Some manufacturers of honey powder add sucrose and other ingredients to keep it from reverting to its liquid state. These ingredients can affect the glycemic load of the honey powder.
- It contains minerals: The honey used to make honey contains trace amounts of various minerals including potassium, calcium and iron. The mineral that is present in the highest concentration is potassium, which is important for muscle contraction. A half cup of honey provides a little over 1 percent of the potassium that you need each day.
Honey has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is thought to be beneficial for preventing and treating ailments, including:
- Bacterial Gastroenteritis: This condition is caused when bacteria attach themselves to intestinal cells. Honey blocks this attachment and prevents infection.
- Diarrhea: In addition to being effective for fighting inflammation, honey is thought to stimulate the growth of new tissues in the intestines. It also helps with rehydration by improving potassium and water uptake without increasing the uptake of sodium.
- Coughing: Honey is recommended as a cough remedy by the American Academy of Pediatrics. A 2007 study found that it reduced nighttime coughing in children with upper respiratory infection better than dextromethorphan.
Common uses of honey powder
Honey powder can be used in all applications for which sugar is traditionally used; it has the benefit of being much easier to handle. Examples include as a sweetener for beverages like coffee and tea. It is also used in baked goods where it can be an alternative to liquid honey. It extends the shelf life of bread and improves the retention of moisture. In addition, it does not cause dishes to brown as quickly as liquid honey does.