Best before: How long will Raw Honey last?
The shelf life of honey is difficult to determine due to a number of factors. Some cannot even give a precise expiration date, while others simply write a bit in the manual accompanying their product.
Since honey does not contain any preservatives, its quality decreases over time; however, how much time can vary from one type to another and even between batches from the same source.
There are several factors that contribute to this degradation process:
1- Natural enzymes (invertase/diastase) found in honey break down sucrose into glucose and fructose over time.
2 - Moisture levels increase which promotes microbial growth.
3 - Proteins contained within the liquid form become irreversibly insoluble.
4 - Its flavor is influenced by the types of plants found in the vicinity of a bee hive, which vary from one region to another. The delicate balance between these different elements determines how long a jar will last.
In general, it could be said that honey has a shorter shelf life than its expiration date suggests. If taken into consideration all above factors and going off common sense, we can say that an opened jar shouldn't last more than two years at room temperature.