Benefits of Honeydew
New Zealand Beech Honeydew honey is one of New Zealand's premium export honeys. It has a history of export to Europe and specifically Germany since the early 1970s. There are several honeydew producing scale insects in New Zealand inhabiting a variety of plants.
Typically honeydews have lower levels of glucose and fructose and higher levels of complex sugars due to the extra enzymatic actions in the sap sucking insect's gut. Honeydews don't normally crystallize due to the reduced levels of glucose and also have a high mineral content which is measured as a high conductivity - this measurement being the main tool to differentiate honeydews in the laboratory.
Honeydews in general are normally low in glucose and they are also lower in fructose than flower honeys. This low glucose and fructose is supplemented by higher levels of more complex sugars such as Maltose, Erlose and Melezitose. This has the effect of reducing the tendency to crystallize. Beech honeydew is likewise very slow crystallizing and in fact some beech honeydews never crystallize.
Typical values for Beech Honeydew are:
Glucose 22.9% - SD 2.0% (400 samples)
Fructose 33.8% - SD 2.1% (400 samples)
Sucrose 0.67% - SD 0.81% (400 samples)
SD = Standard Deviation.
For a typical blossom honey we might expect that Fructose would range between 36 – 42g/100g, with Glucose ranging from 28 – 34g/100g. For a good example of Honeydew honey Fructose may be between 30 – 36g/100g, with Glucose being between 17 – 23g/100g.
Blossom honey: approx. 70g/100g
Honeydew honey: approx. 55g/100g
The difference is on account of the metabolic processes by which scale insects modify the sugars derived from tree/plant sap. This results in the wide range of additional complex sugars (oligosaccharides) found in Honeydew honey. A number of these are associated with benefits for gut health and microbiota.
For more information about Honeydew, visit www.airborne.co.nz