|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
The chemical composition of honey is almost exclusively invert sugar. Invert sugars are the individual components of sucrose; dextrose (glucose) and fructose. These two monosaccharides together make up the molecule sucrose. However, in honey they are individual molecules. Dextrose (glucose) has a tendency to crystallize and that crystallization causes other dextrose molecules to crystallize. Soon you have a layer upon layer of crystals until there is a uniform separation. One way to prevent this crystallization is to avoid having the honey's temperature lowered. Lowering the honey's temperature promotes crystallization. However, if the honey does crystallize it is very simple to return the crystals to solution; just heat the product while stirring. This will dissolve the crystals back into solution. Your second question refers to the 'thinning' of honey. Normally honey's solids content is between 80-84%. This can be lowered with the addition of water, which will lower the honey's viscosity, and thus allow it to flow easier. Just be aware the lowering the solids of honey also promotes crystallization. This can be explained by the fact that with the lowering of the solids percentage thus lowering the viscosity of the syrup the crystals are able to find each other quicker.
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