Honey is a natural food product with remarkable organoleptic properties. It is an energetic food, of rapid assimilation, with a sweetening power superior to that of sugar, rich mainly in glucose, fructose in addition to organic acids and trace elements. Its composition is such that it does not generate the development of microorganisms, so it does not require preservatives or pasteurization.
SELL QUALITY NOT ONLY PRODUCTS
Although it may seem a natural product that flows like spring water from the “bottega” of bees, honey is one of the products for which a specific regulation was deemed indispensable - Law n ° 753 of 12 October 1982 (and subsequent amendments) - to regulation of the production, packaging and labeling of the product. While referring to specific regulatory details for any further indication regarding the production processes and the physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics to be adhered to when placing honey on the market, we believe it is useful to have an overview of the regulations governing the marketing of honey.
First of all, honey responds to a precise and accurate definition: "the food product that domestic bees produce from the nectar of flowers or from secretions coming from living parts of plants or which are found on them, which they spoil, transform, combine with own specific substances, store or leave to mature in the honeycombs of the hive. This product can be fluid, dense or crystallized. " Therefore the unequivocal exclusion of what is not listed and included is evident. Let us take an example: when other types of food are added to honey, such as dried or freeze-dried fruit, aromatic essences or other beehive products, the product cannot be defined as honey and the reference standard regarding packaging and labeling must be that of of food products.
The law of reference lists the various types of honeys declining according to their origin (flower honey or honeydew honey) and also according to the extraction method (honey in comb, honey with pieces of comb or honeycomb sections in honey, drained honey , centrifuged honey, pressed honey and filtered honey). The legislation also defines parameters on the chemical composition of honey, specific for floriculture of origin. Finally, special attention must be paid to the indication of origin to be shown on the label. In fact, honey could originate from non-EU productions or sometimes be mixed with local or community productions. This is possible in compliance with the marketing regulations, which impose a clear denomination of "non-EU honey", "non-EU honey mix" or "non-EU honey mix" evident on the label, together with the specification of the countries of origin. Infringements regarding labeling incur administrative penalties.
Consumption is clearly entrusted to strict compliance with the indications and composition that ensure the integrity of the organoleptic qualities of the product, also assessed in taste and color. Genuine transparency inevitably rewards the manufacturer's commitment.
SALES REGULATION OF BEEKEEPING PRODUCTS
Once we have overcome the bureaucratic meadows and the impervious tortuity of the law on production, we recover the main objective of the activity: to sell our product on the market. In the case of wholesale trade, therefore aimed at commercial operators in general, the reference legislation is that of trade in general; there are no special provisions that specifically regulate the sale of honey. The same applies to the retail sale of honey. If this happens in itinerant form, for example the banquet at the market, the operator is subject to prior notification to the mayor of the municipality where the (itinerant) company is based or to the mayor of the municipality where he intends to carry out the sale: in each In the event the sale can begin thirty days after the communication has been made.
Today, both direct farmers (registered in the company register) and agricultural producers can sell their bee products in the most appropriate forms, including electronic commerce, which is the most convenient way to reach the widest spectrum of consumers.
We also remind you that in order to start the sales activity, the current provisions regarding hygiene and health must be "observed" which, in the case of sale of packaged product, are reduced to the respect of the availability of the rooms used. Deposits are not subject to health regulations and therefore, taking as an example a small consortium producer who uses common facilities for honey extraction and packaging (health authorizations requested by the manager of such structures), he will proceed with the sale of honey after having simply communicated to the Mayor the start of the sales activity.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A GOOD HONEY
A natural honey of good quality is also recognized by the appearance. A good honey tends to crystallize, becoming opaque and becoming grainy, almost sandy. It is a natural process that takes place at different times, according to the types of honey, very long for the acacia and very fast for the chestnut. Moreover, the conservation of honey does not require preservatives or pasteurization. Therefore a millefiori honey too light and fluid must not mislead: most likely it has been treated with pasteurization and has partially lost its therapeutic properties. In fact, the honey that never crystallizes is usually pasteurized.
To those who are wondering how to recognize possible defects in honey we recommend evaluating these elements of appearance: the separation of the liquid part from the crystalline part, the presence of foam on the surface or gas bubbles inside the mass.
As for the color, reference should be made to the botanical species of origin of the nectar. The consumer must know that from the acacia comes a rather clear, golden yellow honey, while from the chestnut a darker honey is obtained, tending to greenish if it is obtained from conifers.
Even the smell is a characteristic element of natural honey: delicate or intense, according to the flower of origin. Possible defects are the emanation of a hint of smoke and the pungent smell of fermented. Clearly the final verdict comes from the flavor that decrees its genuineness and for this reason the richness, the complexity of the flavor full of nuances and aftertaste.
An organic honey, born in full respect of the ancient tradition in uncontaminated environments and certified according to the guidelines of EcoCert Italia, deserves the triumph of properties and genuineness that is not found in industrial production.
Honey tells ...