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Investigations of quality influencing factors and quality control in processing of metastable carbohydrate solutions (Honey)

The main topic of this project was to improve the quality of natural carbohydrate solutions respectively honey.
A creamy crystallized honey assigns the impression of good quality, whereas the coarse crystals produce a sandy taste, layers within the honey and consequently the impression of minor quality.
Hence both properties, formation of layers and sandy taste, are affected by the process of uncontrolled crystallization during storage and transportation, the process of crystallization should be controlled and completed at the plant of honey packers.

Results
The theoretical knowledge on crystallization in high viscous media like honey leads to the use of sheer forced crystallization respectively sheer induced nucleation.
Crystallization can be controlled by inducing nucleation fastened with controlled storage.
During nucleation step the honey had been treated with high sheer stress. This leads to a reduction of induction time and to multiplying of nuclei. The process of controlled crystallization had been realized and validated in small technical scale with a product mass flow up to 60 kg/h.
Limits and limitations for the sheer induced crystallization, respectively nucleation had been found in chemical composition of honey and their resulting physical properties.

New tools for determining sensory and analytical quality of honey had been developed (aroma-GC, sensory analysis, NIR-spectroscopy, DSC, chemical and microbiological residues hazardous for human, etc.).
The main objectives of improving quality of honey by controlled crystallization had been reached. The developed process, which inherits two main steps (preparation and crystallization), leads to improvement of chemical and sensory quality of honey.
Scale-up of the crystallizer by manufacturer SCHRODER Gmbh based on the results of the pilot plant, which shows no significant influence of the product mass flow (in the range of 11 to 60 kg/h) to any system and quality parameter checked.

Reported by

Deutsches Institut fur Lebensmitteltechnik eV
Prof V Klitzing Str 7
49610 Quakenbruck
Germany
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