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Adam O'Sullivan

Honey processing.

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Hello all! We are looking at starting up a very small honey processing kitchen, mainly to supply friends and family and sell a tiny amount ( getting council reg. and food handling certs etc. ) We are stumped on one small thing, the council lady said about "homogenized" honey, was she meaning pasteurised? Are we needing to heat the honey before bottling? I have always thought that heating honey is to keep crystallisation at bay, is there any health need to be heating the honey? Are there any books or sites you know of which would help us with different honey extraction and processing techniques? Many thanks for your time!

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Homogenized simply means mixed together until it's all the same.

 

Example if you're testing for tutin after blending honey from different apiaries you must ensure that the honey is homogenized. This is so that the sample you have tested is representative of the entire batch of honey.

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Homogenized simply means mixed together until it's all the same.

 

Example if you're testing for tutin after blending honey from different apiaries you must ensure that the honey is homogenized. This is so that the sample you have tested is representative of the entire batch of honey.

Great, thank you Rob, that's a big help to us! Every bit of info helps big time!

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I have always thought that heating honey is to keep crystallisation at bay,

keep in mind a lot of honey will crystalline reasonably quickly and its off putting to a lot of customers. hence why a a lot, if not most, honey is creamed. you may need heating and cooling setup for the creaming.

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Or just keep it either warm or frozen until its sold....

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Hello all! We are looking at starting up a very small honey processing kitchen, mainly to supply friends and family and sell a tiny amount ( getting council reg. and food handling certs etc. ) We are stumped on one small thing, the council lady said about "homogenized" honey, was she meaning pasteurised? Are we needing to heat the honey before bottling? I have always thought that heating honey is to keep crystallisation at bay, is there any health need to be heating the honey? Are there any books or sites you know of which would help us with different honey extraction and processing techniques? Many thanks for your time!

I presume you are a hobby bee keeper planning to make Real honey which is not filtered but strained, and it does not need to be heated unless the honey house gets very cold, and we just heat up the house a few degrees with a fan heater. And people who know their honey don't mind if it sets, because it keeps all the aroma and taste.

See:

 

Our honey so good

 

Regards.

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It is worth setting up a warm room (I use a fridge) therefore I can keep it as close tot he beehive temp and keep they honey nice and runny without hurting the honey :-)

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Now, I learn all the time, do you keep this honey in polyprop jars, what temperature, and how well does it keep ?

 

If it works it would presumably be good for small quantities, not 500 Kg ?

 

Thanks :)

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Now, I learn all the time, do you keep this honey in polyprop jars, what temperature, and how well does it keep ?

 

If it works it would presumably be good for small quantities, not 500 Kg ?

 

Thanks :)

Well, 500kg will not fit in my fridge ;-) 500g polyprop jars, about 35 degrees seems to work well. If they are in there for over a month they seem to not crystallise for around 6 weeks.... (That is after it had gone rock hard in a bucket and been warmed for packaging. A 20l bucket in the fridge works well.) A 75w light bulb works good for me :-)

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And people who know their honey don't mind if it sets, because it keeps all the aroma and taste.

I'm not sure about this. I always think liquid honey tastes different than the same batch creamed or solid.

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I'm not sure about this. I always think liquid honey tastes different than the same batch creamed or solid.

I prefer liquid honey. It tastes and smells more honey-y to me

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Ours crystalised very quickly this year. It is clover/bush blend but it is very fine grained, almost like a creamed clover. Ideal for spreading on hot toast and not running off when you pick up the toast:)

honey.jpg.503dff5c23fc25047560888f0886e08a.jpg

honey.jpg.503dff5c23fc25047560888f0886e08a.jpg

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Uuurgh yack, a blue toaster

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Well, 500kg will not fit in my fridge ;) 500g polyprop jars, about 35 degrees seems to work well. If they are in there for over a month they seem to not crystallise for around 6 weeks.... (That is after it had gone rock hard in a bucket and been warmed for packaging. A 20l bucket in the fridge works well.) A 75w light bulb works good for me :)

I agree. This is exactly how I keep my honey.

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I just found out that council no longer administers honey processing kitchens and it's down to MPI to do that checking. $155 to have food plan plus $1500 - $2000 to verify, annually. Hire a kitchen or go black market?

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I am hoping over winter to set up a very small honey processing house. Just for my honey and hobbyist with a few boxes that want it processed with the correct certifications.

I started down the council route but got told they do not do it any longer. Any advise on 1. Getting the correct advise on requirements and 2. Who to contact or where to find an example of a food plan etc.

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I just found out that council no longer administers honey processing kitchens and it's down to MPI to do that checking. $155 to have food plan plus $1500 - $2000 to verify, annually. Hire a kitchen or go black market?

@neil miller .. all councils are different, I am currently working with the Hauraki District Council and after visiting them last week they gave me the 'Scope of operations ' - MPI form . I can then lodge this form with them at a cost of $100 and then I had to complete their form .. "Application for Registration under the Food Act 2014".

They will then come out and inspect my kitchen ( I can elect if the inspection is to be carried out by MPI or local Council) Our Council will charge $160 plus mileage. Council is the cheaper option.

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Hello all! We are looking at starting up a very small honey processing kitchen, mainly to supply friends and family and sell a tiny amount ( getting council reg. and food handling certs etc. ) We are stumped on one small thing, the council lady said about "homogenized" honey, was she meaning pasteurised? Are we needing to heat the honey before bottling? I have always thought that heating honey is to keep crystallisation at bay, is there any health need to be heating the honey? Are there any books or sites you know of which would help us with different honey extraction and processing techniques? Many thanks for your time!

I'm not sure on this but we don't homogenise ours, it is extracted in a tank and only stirred manually to get it to flow evenly through the pumps and when it is pumped into the drums we take an inline sample (a little tap runs out the side and honey trickles out whilst the drum is filled) and the sample is a representation of the whole drum, so you may be able to do an inline sample.

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@neil miller .. all councils are different, I am currently working with the Hauraki District Council and after visiting them last week they gave me the 'Scope of operations ' - MPI form . I can then lodge this form with them at a cost of $100 and then I had to complete their form .. "Application for Registration under the Food Act 2014".

They will then come out and inspect my kitchen ( I can elect if the inspection is to be carried out by MPI or local Council) Our Council will charge $160 plus mileage. Council is the cheaper option.

 

Wow that's more like it. I can't understand Auckland CC bailing on the inspection as they charged over $900, if you council can do it for $160, that's quite a bit of profit they are forgoing. I will double check but I got my info from the food safety people.

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'Scope of operations ' - MPI form

Any chance of scanning this in and then posting it into resources so I can use it.

 

 

"Application for Registration under the Food Act 2014".

And 1 of these would be nice also.

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The ACC are working on getting registered compliance officers, sometime in the future. In the meantime it is being left to private contractors or MPI, you need licensing and a safe food plan,even if you are hiring a commercial kitchen,so all of the fees still stand.

There are a couple of exemption clauses that I will explore.

 

Selling honey from the gate to help pay for hardware and running costs is a thing of the past. It seems unnecessary for such a low risk food.

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Any chance of scanning this in and then posting it into resources so I can use it.

 

 

And 1 of these would be nice also.

Hi @Trevor Gillbanks .. here's the link https://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/11437

I will scan it into resources tomorrow .. busy shifting offices at the moment.. You only have to complete the first 5 pages.. the rest doesn't apply to Honey Extraction. The Application for Registration under Food Act 2014 with a local Council has been customised by The Hauraki District Council and has their logo at the top of the page. The type of Registration you require is NP1. I will attach the document anyway so you at least have a reference when you talk to your local Council.

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And people who know their honey don't mind if it sets, because it keeps all the aroma and taste.

I don't actually agree with this. Whatever the reason, liquid honey has more flavour on my palate.

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Hi @Trevor Gillbanks .. here's the link https://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/11437

I will scan it into resources tomorrow .. busy shifting offices at the moment.. You only have to complete the first 5 pages.. the rest doesn't apply to Honey Extraction. The Application for Registration under Food Act 2014 with a local Council has been customised by The Hauraki District Council and has their logo at the top of the page. The type of Registration you require is NP1. I will attach the document anyway so you at least have a reference when you talk to your local Council.

Thanks @Jilly. Very helpful.

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