Recently, the National Honey Board (NHB) issued some clarifications regarding emerging misconceptions about honey.
A 2013 study had shown that consumers prefer honey to be brilliantly clear and golden; and increasingly, they preferred honey that had pollen grains filtered out.
The term 'ultrafiltration' has been (mis-)used in association with traditional filtration methods by many US honey packers, leading some consumers to believe that any honey without pollen is not real honey.
The fact of the matter is, honey is made by honey bees from the nectar of flowers, not pollen. So whether there is pollen in it or not, it's still honey.
Harvesting honey is an ancient artisanal craft. Honey bees gather nectar from flowering plants, add a few enzymes and store it in the honeycomb. All of the color, the flavor, the aroma, the antioxidants, whatever constituents are in the honey comes from the particular flower from which the nectar was collected. Beekeepers simply collect the honey from honeycombs.
There are more than 300 varietals of honey, ranging greatly in flavor and appearance. After the honey is removed from the beehive and extracted by a beekeeper, it is shipped off to a honey packer - who warms the honey and removes any foreign material or residue from the beehive, often including pollens.
The filtration process is a tried and true method that's been used for more than 50 years. The honey is warmed so that it flows smoothly through a filter press resembling a large accordion with many paper filters along the way.
This removes the foreign material or the pollen and any other residue from the beehive. Finally, the honey is clear and ready for bottling.
The benefits of honey make it easily accessible for consumers to use in their daily lives. Honey is a whole food that has other uses outside of the culinary realm. As a carbohydrate, honey is a natural energy booster. It helps to hydrate the skin.
Finally, it is also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a natural cough suppressant in children after the age of one.
Other blog posts about the benefits of honey: