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What is the difference between pure honey and raw honey?

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Quick Answer

Raw honey is a type of pure honey that receives no or minimal processing. Pure honey refers to honey, including raw honey, that does not contain any other ingredients.

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Full Answer

Raw honey comes directly from the hive and contains some pollen content. In some cases, it may also contain small amounts of beeswax. Some health-food advocates claim that raw honey has added benefits over treated honey and that heat treatments and filtering processes remove beneficial enzymes and antioxidants, though studies suggest that processing only removes a minimal amount of these elements, as of 2015. Some also claim that the taste of raw honey is superior to that of processed honey.

Pure honey is free of additives, such as artificial and natural flavors, colors and sweeteners. The United Nations requires that all honey labelled as pure is free of additives. However, in the United States, this is only a recommendation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and not a strict requirement.

Pure honey may include voluntary labeling by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to indicate its quality on a scale of A to C or substandard. High-quality, or A-rated, pure honey has less water content, better clarity and fewer defects than lower grades. All grades of pure honey, including raw honey, contain enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

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