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Honey is a sweet and viscous fluid produced by bees from the nectar of flowers or secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant sucking insects. The bees collect, transform and combine with the enzyme Invertase which contains the saliva of bees, and stored in the Combs where it matures. Honey is also a secretion that was previously consumed by these.
Honey has its qualities recognised and used by humans since ancient times, as food and sweetened naturally with power to sweeten more than cane sugar twice.
There are several historical references to this substance. In addition to biblical quotations, many other peoples, such as the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, for example, referred to honey as a sacred product, to serve as a way to pay taxes. In Egyptian excavations more than 3,000 years were found perfectly preserved in pots slightly covered honey samples. There are also prehistoric cave paintings of the use of honey records.
Are known different varieties of honey depend on flower used as a source of nectar and the type of bee that produced it, but as they manufactured it in quantity about three times higher than need to survive, was always possible, first of all, to collect this excess to the human being and later performed the domestication of bees for the specific purpose of obtaining your honey, technique known as beekeeping.
According to its vegetable origin, differs between:
* Flowers honey: produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. Many varieties are distinguished:
-monofloral: predominance of the nectar of a species. The most common are chestnut, romero, Ulmo, thyme, Heath, orange or orange blossom, lime, acacia, eucalyptus, lavender or lavender, BlackBerry, alfalfa, etc.
-multi-flower: the nectar of several different plant species, and in varying proportions.
-saw or mountain, and desert: (varadulce, Mesquite, gatun), which are special types of thousand flowers.
* Honey of honeydew or honeydew, honey dew, dew honey forest honey: It is produced by bees from the sweet secretions of aphids aphids, mealybugs and other insects sucking SAP, normally of pines, firs and holm oaks, cork oaks and other shrubby plants. It tends to be less sweet, very dark, solidifies with difficulty, and it is not uncommon that it exhibits spicy, resinous taste and smell. The pine forests from honeydew honey has a peculiar taste to pine, and is prized for its medicinal use in Europe and Turkey.
The study of pollen in the virgin honey (melissopalynology) allows you to determine their floral origin. Since pollen particles are electrostatically charged and attract other particles, the techniques used in the melissopalynology can be used in environmental studies of radioactive particles, dust or pollution.
A side effect of collecting nectar and pollen for the production of honey is pollination, which is crucial for the reproduction of flowering plants.
The honey is used mainly in cooking and confectionery, as an accompaniment of bread or toast (especially at breakfast and snacks) and as an additive for various beverages such as tea. Being rich in sugars such as fructose, honey is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air), by adding a small amount to breads and cakes makes these harden more slowly. The virgin honey also contains enzymes that help digestion, as well as various vitamins and antioxidants. This often recommend the consumption of honey at temperatures not exceeding 60 ° C, as higher the temperature it starts to lose beneficial properties to volatilize some of these elements.
Vegans avoid taking honey, since technically it is a product of animal origin, not the apivegetarianos.
Honey is the main ingredient of the Mead, which is produced from the honey and water, which is also known as "honey wine".
Honey (like other sweeteners) can be extremely dangerous for babies. This is because that mixed with digestive juices not acids of the child creates an ideal environment for the growth of the spores of Clostridium botulinum, which produce toxins. Botulism spores are the few bacteria that survive in honey, but are also widely present in the environment. Although spores are harmless to adults, due to their heartburn, digestive system of infants is not developed enough to destroy them, so that the spores can potentially cause infant botulism. For this reason it is advisable not to feed honey or any other sweetener to children younger than 12 months
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