Isnin, 8 April 2013

Cara Uji Madu

Cara Uji Madu Tulen @ Tiruan

How to Differentiate a Pure Honey from an Impure One

As a consumer, you must pay for something worth for value. Even though adulterated honey has no harm on health, you must get what you ask for namely a pure honey. Usually the dosage of adulteration may not be adequate to affect the taste and aroma of the honey.

The following are tests that you may perform to test the purity of honey.

i. Hexagon shape test

Put a drop of honey on a flat plate. Drip water on top of the honey just enough to cover it. Shake the plate horizontally in circular direction. A pure honey will show hexagon shape like honeycomb after a while.

ii. Rubbing hand test

Apply honey on your fingers. Try to use a piece of dry cloth to clean it. If the honey is pure, your finger can be cleaned totally. Your fingers will remain sticky if the honey is impure.

iii. Water dissolving test

Drop a teaspoon of honey into a glass of water. Observe how the honey sinks into the bottom. If the honey is pure, it will not dissolve. It will go down to the bottom of the glass. It needs some time to dissolve. If the honey is impure, it will dissolve.

iv. Flame test

Dip a cotton bud with honey. Try to burn using a lighter. If it burns, then it is an impure honey; otherwise it is pure. Real honey does not burn.

Or dip the active tip of a match into the honey. Try to scratch the active tip of the match to light it up. If it is pure honey, it can be lit up. It cannot be lit up if the honey is impure. The impure honey will wet the tip of the match thus making it does not burn.

v. Appearance

If the honey crystallized, it is pure honey. Unfortunately, there is common misconception that granulated or crystallized honey is proof of adulteration of sugar. The fact is the other way round.

vi. Absorption test

Put a drop of honey on a piece of paper. If the honey is blotted or absorbed by observing the bottom of the paper, then it is not pure.

vii. Writing test

Use a pen touch the honey and try to write on a piece of paper. If you can write, then the honey is pure; otherwise the honey is adulterated with artificial sugars.

viii. Sand test

Drop a small drip of honey of sand. If the honey scatters, it is not a pure honey. Pure honey will remain intact and hold together.

Beside the above home tests, you may send the honey for scientific laboratory tests. There are two tests that can be performed:-

a. Spectroscopy

It uses principle of interaction between light and matter to differentiate substances in the honey like sucrose and fructose.

b. Carbon Isotope Ratio Analysis

This test is used to determine whether sugar is added.

When you purchase honey, first and foremost you must check its label whether additives and other substance is added. “Pure honey” may mean the bottle or container contain pure honey and other substances. The wise way is to go for reliable brands or suppliers. Buying honey in the combs is one way to make sure you get a pure one.

Sources of Honey in Malaysia

Honey bees are natural pollinators of plants. They help in disseminating pollens from flower to flower while collecting nectar. As a result, seeds are produced which enable the propagation of the plants.

There are many sources of nectar in Malaysia.

Acacia mangium

Acacia is one of the main sources of honey in Malaysia.

Acacia belongs to the family of Fabaceae. There are over 1300 species in the world. In Malaysia, the species of Acacia is Acacia mangium.

In general Acacia has sap which is the source of honey dew that is collected by the honey bees. Acacia is an invasion plant meaning it is spreading easily and has high resilience. It is used as erosion control plant.

In Malaysia, all Acacia mangium plantation before 1992 were developed by the Federal Government. The plantations were established for supply of pulpwood to the paper industry.

Currently, there are about 80,000 ha Acacia mangium plantation in Peninsula Malaysia, 100,000 ha in Sabah and 8,000 ha in Sarawak.


Pineapple flower is another major source of nectar for the honey bees.

The state of Johor tops the list of major pineapple producer with some 50,000 acres of pineapple plantation. The farmers normally will ensure the flowering is uniform to ease the harvesting process. Therefore, the beekeepers having beehives in the pineapple plantations must move the beehives to elsewhere when there are no flowers around.

Gelam (Melaleuca cajuputi) tree

Melaleuca cajuputi belongs to the family of Myrtaceae. It is a tall tree about 15 – 20 meter high with leaves resemble those of Acacia.

It has tiny creamy yellow flower emerging on a long spike in the shape of bottle brush. The honey bee will come to pick up the nectar from these tiny flowers.

The tree trunk usually is gnarled and twisted. A special feature is that its bark is spongy like the banana tree. The color of the bark is whitish and may peel off like large sheet of paper. It is also called paper bark tree.

In Malaysia it is found in swampy forest between old raised sea beaches. It is abundant in coastal alluvial flats behind the sandy beaches and the mangroves in the states of Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Starfruit (Carambola)
Star fruit flower
The starfruit is a tropical and subtropical fruit. Malaysia is a global leader in starfruit production by volume. In Malay starfruit is known as belimbing.

The starfruit tree can grow very fast and may produce fruit when it is 4-5 years old.

The starfruit tree flowers are the source of nectar. Starfruit flowers the whole year round. In Malaysia its peak fruiting seasons are from April to June and October to December. Beekeepers can expect a surge in honey collection during those peak seasons.


Durian is native to Malaysia. It is a controversial fruit. Some people prefer its fragrance whereas others hate it because of its strong smell. Durian flowers are big and full of nectar. Durian normally is pollinated by bats, spider and giant bee. It is a source of honey for beekeeper. As durian flowering is seasonal, the beekeepers must observe its flowering season for their migration programme.


Coconut can be found mostly at the coastal area in Malaysia especially in Penang, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu. Coconut flowering is not seasonal. It flowers the whole year round. Its flowers are yellowish in color.



Honey Bee

There are three (3) kinds of honey bee in a colony i.e. workers, drones and a queen.

Life cycle

An egg is laid in a hexagonal wax cell. It hatches into tiny, white, legless larve. This will take 3-4 days. By the ninth day, the drone is fully grown and ready to pupate. The workers put a capping over the cell. 10 to 11 days later, the capping is bitten away and a adult emerges.


Workers are female with their reproductive organ not functioning.

They are the smallest among the three (3) castes in the beehive. A hive can accommodate 2-200 thousand workers.

The life span of worker is about 20-40 days or up to the usage of its sting.

The worker main tasks include collecting food (nectar, pollen) from outside the hive, making wax cell, feeding the developing larvae, cleaning hive, evaporating nectar, closing the pupa cell and honey etc.

The workers is quoted as “work to death”.


Drones are male with a life span of 4 -5 weeks. Their main role is to fertilize a new queen or mate with a new queen. They do not work inside the hive. They are fed by the workers or help themselves from the store of nectar and pollen in the combs.


The queen is the biggest honey bee in a hive. It is easily recognized by her large abdomen.

The queen is the only egg-laying female in the hive. It can live up to 2 years (maximum 8 years).

Its main role is mating with a drone. Usually the mating occurs once only in her life even though researches show the more than once is possible. The sperm received from the drone is store in a sperm sac in her abdomen. The store of sperms will last for 2 years or more. When the sperms are exhausted, the queen continues to lay egg but they are all unfertilized and will become drones.

A queen can lay up to 1,500 eggs per day.

The workers feed the queen with royal jelly, her only food.

Besides, the queen is the leader which keeps the colony together with secretion of a hormone 9-hydroxydecenic acid (HDA).

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Why Vegans do not take honey?

Veganism is defined as a way of life of life which excludes all forms of exploitation of and torture to the animal kingdom. The vegans do not eat flesh, fish, fowl, egg, honey, animal milk and its derivatives. They only rely on the plant kingdom for food.

There are a few reasons why the vegans exclude honey from their menu.

The vegans feel that the honey bees are enslaved. The beekeepers use smoke to calm the bees. Smoke neutralizes the alarm pheromone which the guard bees release and prevents the entire colony from becoming agitated.

The beekeepers use to move around the beehives in search for honey. During the migration, the beehives are carried from a place to another usually at night. Like human, bees suffer in the journey. That’s why bees are agitated and used to sting people when the beehives are unloaded from the lorry when the beekeepers arrive at a new place.

A queen can live up to 5 years. However, a queen may be killed by human after 2 years when its reproduction capacity is dwindling and replaced by a successor queen.

Honey is the result of hard work of the bees. Honey bees travel 88,000 km and visit 2 million flowers in order to gather nectar and produce 0.5 kg of honey. The honey is the food of the bees. They may have extra honey which the human may take. But, how often human only takes the extra honey?

As such, the vegans feel that taking away honey from the bees is an exploitation of the bees which is not acceptable to them at all.

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Asystasia – Another source of honey in Malaysia
Asystasia gangetia has a common name : creeping foxglove. It belongs to a plant family called Acanthaceae. It thrives lavishly in tropical Asia including Malaysia.

This plant is a fast growing, invasive and attractive ground cover with small beautiful flower. The flower is white in color with purple strip on the lower petal. It attracts honey bees to come to obtain nectar.
Besides attracting honey bee, its flower also lures butterflies. The flower also serves as food to beetle.

Asystasia is quite invasive that it could smother the surrounding vegetation with its herbaceous layer.
It can be used as mass planting under large trees. It can be propagated from cuttings taken after flowering. It thrives in semi-shade areas and under full sun.


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