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German Honey Regulations

Germany: The Land of the Honey Standard

Honey producing is hard work - a bee makes just a 12th of a teaspoon in its lifetime and a 250 g jar comes from the nectar of one million flowers. In order to retain this valuable blessing of nature and its natural ingredients Germany established the strictest honey regulations more than 70 years ago – regulations that have not been legislated in any other country until now!

Germans are among the largest honey consumers in the world and take great pride in their honey quality laws which are based on consumers' viewpoints instead of manufacturers' interests and therefore ensure natural premium quality and prevent foreign-made honey of poor quality from coming in.

Germany established the Honey Purification Act in 1976. This law stipulates the quality criteria of honey and provides extremely strict standards for honey purification, original natural ingredients, sugar and water contents, HMF (Hydroxymethylfurfural) and enzymes. Additionally, all original honey constituents must still be included in the honey and nothing can be added or removed, especially not the valuable pollen. All German honey must as well have a water content of less than 18%.

Enzymes in honey turn starch into sugar which generates energy and they are very important ingredients in terms of quality and health benefits of honey. However, standards for the enzyme contents in honey have not been legislated in any other country. In Germany, regulations on enzyme contents in honey exist since 1931, which clearly demonstrates the strictness of the German Honey Purification Act.

The standards for HMF, which is generated when honey is heated are equally strict. Prevention of overheating is indispensable in order to avoid destroying beneficial nutrients contained in honey. Popular production processes taken by major honey makers outside Germany however heat honey to over 60 degrees centigrade and then process it in a decompression caldron.

Yet, when the pressure is lowered by decompression equipment, not only is the original aroma of honey lost but the wealth of phytonutrients like pollen and enzyme-rich propolis is destroyed as well. That production method is hence not allowed in Germany since Provision 3 of Article 2 of the Honey Purification Act requires that “any original ingredients of natural honey shall not be lost in the process of purification”.

Equally, widespread processing techniques such as diluting, ultra-filtering and blending bulk honey of unknown origin to avoid normal crystallization and to remove pollen in order to hide the honey source and thus expose customers to unsafe honey containing animal antibiotics, artificial sweeteners and heavy metals are unthinkable under German regulations.

Therefore, German beekeepers are proud of their tradition that has been handed down over generations as a rigid regulation and which guaranties you the natural flavour and nutritional value of the only food that, with over 400 elements and compounds, includes all the substances necessary to sustain life.


Hexapi Honey - Retaining the Blessings of Nature!