Preservative properties of honey

Preservative properties of honey

Avicenna almost a thousand years ago pointed out that honey has high properties “to prevent decay and damage to meat.” Arab doctor and traveler of the XII century, Abd-al-Latif, found in one of the famous gizeh pyramids a tightly clogged vessel with honey, in which there was a fully preserved corpse of the infant belonging to the family of the pharaoh.

There are literary data that ancient Egyptians and Greeks used bees honey for canning corpses.

In later periods, exquisite and whimsical in food, the rich Romans demanded to the table the most diverse and expensive game, delivered from different distant countries with honey. This method of preserving fresh meat, obviously, fully justified itself, because, despite the long distances, the game was brought fresh.

More than one and a half centuries ago P. Sumarokov (1808) wrote that honey has an amazing property to protect against the deterioration of plant juices, roots, flowers, fruits and even meat. The inhabitants of the island of Ceylon cut the meat of animals into pieces, smear them with honey and put them in wood hollows to a height of an arshin (72 cm) from the ground, stopping with hollow branches of the same tree, left there sometimes for a whole year and find completely fresh meat, .

Art. Mladenov (Bulgaria) took five varieties of honey (linden, acacia, and three flower meadow, field and Balkan flowers), which he placed in sterile flat glass cups, and over a hundred seeds of bean, barley, wheat, rye and corn, as well as fresh products of animal origin – pieces of kidney, muscle, liver, fish, chicken egg, frog and snake.

These cups (with honey and organic substances) were covered with flat glass lids and stored at room temperature for a year. For the control put exactly the same experiments, but with artificial honey, ie 40% glucose, 30% levulose in physiological saline.

Experience has shown that the seeds stored for a year in honey had a characteristic appearance and high germination. Pieces of kidney, liver, fish, snake, frog, eggs, preserved in honey medium for 4 years, had a normal fresh appearance, odor, whereas these products in the control medium (invert sugar in physiological solution) already on the 5th and 8th the day found signs of rotting.

Experiments on the study of long-term storage of tissues in honey solution, conducted by domestic and foreign researchers, confirmed the point of view expressed by the author of the book in a number of works that the bactericidal properties (inhibitors) of honey depend on the secretory activity of the worker bee, and not on flower nectar and pollen.

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Preservative properties of honey