Why is some Honey pasteurized?

Honey, in its natural form, is one of the safest, most shelf-stable food products you can eat.

There is no requirement in Canada for honey to be pasteurized. In fact, many consumers seek raw, unpasteurized honey as it contains natural yeasts, enzymes and traces of pollen from local flowers and trees, which are considered health and flavour benefits.

Because of its low moisture content and high acidity, bacteria and other harmful organisms cannot live or reproduce in honey. So pasteurizing honey (unlike, for example, dairy products), is not about food safety. Some honey is pasteurized in order to slow down the natural process of granulation, in order to allow it to remain in a liquid (or pourable) form longer, which is particularly useful if it is dispensed from squeeze bottles or poured for easy measurement when cooking or baking.

Pasteurization may delay the granulation of honey but it does not stave it off forever. Granulated honey, which maintains the flavour and nutritional profile of its earlier liquid form, can easily be returned to a liquid state by gentle heating.