Honey adulteration (the manufacture and sale of “fake” honey) is a challenge for beekeepers and honey companies across the world. It affects consumers’ health and pockets and the viability of real beekeepers’ operations.
The following video provides a great summary of what adulteration means. It covers the addition of corn and rice sugars, the dilution with water, and concentration of pre-honey produce.
Peel’s relies on a combination of tests and indicators, including the AOAC 998.12 method (via accredited laboratories in Germany and Italy) to confirm that honey supplied by other beekeepers is what it appears to be.
In addition, we are growing our own hives to increase the amount of honey we are able to supply in-house.
Sadly South African consumers are regularly defrauded with fake honey. In July 2018 investigative journalists from Carte Blanche released and exposé on the most egregious cases of honey adulteration ever reported in SA. We are excited that this video has now been made available online by M-Net.
We have created a press release reaffirming our desire for more stringent consumer protections to be put in place. Sadly, at present, no lab in South Africa is able to do the required tests to confirm whether exogenous sugars such as cane syrup have been added to honey.
It is important to note that there are no reliable ways for consumers to establish whether their honey is, indeed, pure. We have provided an initial guideline of things to look out for. Even if not 100% fool proof, it can provide some support in making a call whether or not to buy a specific jar of honey.
We urge all South Africans to support local beekeepers and encourage retailers to only stock real, and preferably local, honey. Beekeeping not only affects our ability to enjoy pure honey as consumers, but also fulfils a critical function in ensuring that many other crops and fruit are available to us through pollination services.