Honey is a overloaded mixture of natural sugars, collected from the nectar of plants. It contains over 70% sugars and less than 20% water. The two main sugars in honey are fructose and glucose. The content of fructose and glucose in honey varies from one type of honey to another. Generally, fructose ranges from 30% to 44% and glucose from 25% to 40%. The balance of these two main sugars causes the crystallization of honey, and the relative percentage of each determines whether it crystallizes quickly or slowly. What crystallizes is glucose, due to its lower solubility. Fructose is more soluble in water than glucose and will remain fluid.
When glucose crystallizes, it separates from water and takes the form of small crystals. As crystallization progresses and more glucose crystallizes, those crystals spread throughout the honey. The solution changes to a stable saturated form, and finally the honey thickens or crystallizes
Many people believe that crystallized honey is synonymous with adulteration, it's not like that.. True raw honey crystallizes. The process of crystallization is natural and spontaneous. 100% Pure, unheated honey has a natural tendency to crystallize over time with no effect on the honey other than color and texture.
Crystallization of honey actually preserves the taste and quality characteristics of your honey. Many honey users prefer it in this state as it is easier to spread on bread.
Crystallized honey also tastes richer. When honey is in the crystallized state, it takes longer to melt on the tongue, allowing all the taste buds to be activated and capture the subtleties.
The natural sugars in honey tend to solidify at temperatures below 77 °F.
To restore the enjoyment of honey in its liquid state, it is traditionally recommended to heat it in a bain-marie for a few minutes.