Why pasteurize honey?

Pasteurizing honey is a very different thing than pasteurizing milk or other dairy products, and it’s done for very different reasons. Because of its low moisture content and high acidity, bacteria and other harmful organisms cannot live or reproduce in honey, so pasteurization is not done for that purpose. One of the few things that can live in honey is yeast, although if the moisture content is below 18% (as it normally is), the yeast cells cannot reproduce. All nectar (the source for all honey) contains osmophilic yeasts, which can reproduce in higher-moisture content honey and cause fermentation. While fermented honey does not necessarily pose any health risk, we try to discourage it, so Bee Maid pasteurizes its honey to kill any latent yeast cells that might be present and to remove any chance of fermentation.

Another side benefit of pasteurizing honey is that it will slow down the granulation process. Pasteurized honey will last longer in its liquid state than unpasteurized honey, which makes for a more appealing-looking product for both retailers and consumers.