Honey is a sweet, thick liquid that bees collect by extracting it from various flowers and preserving it in their hive. And apart from its sweetness, it is rich in several vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and nutrients. Moreover, it has been used as a key ingredient for food and medicine since ancient times. Because of these reasons, honey has a huge demand worldwide. In 2021, the global market size for honey was more than $8 (8.17) billion, which is growing at a rate of 6 (5.83) percent each year. With this growth rate, it is estimated that the global honey market will reach a size of $13 (12.69) billion by 2029. In 2021 only, the total consumption of honey and honey products in the US market alone was 618 million lbs. There are several types of honey which are differentiated by color such as light, amber, or dark, or the flower that it has been collected from. However, the consumption of dark honey is increasing among consumers due to its distinct color, texture, taste, nutritional value, and health benefits.
What is Dark Honey?
The color of the honey depends mainly on the types of flowers it has been extracted from. Some flowers bloom all year round and some flowers bloom in specific seasons. The color of the honey varies depending on these different periods of flowering. Most of the honey available in the market is usually transparent or light amber in color. But, dark honey is dark-brown or almost black in color. That is why dark honey is also called black honey, which, like all other types of honey, is produced by bees. There are flowers whose pollen is quite dark in color and contains a lot of minerals. Bees that produce dark or black honey mainly collect honey from these flowers. Similarly, some types of honey that have been inside the hive longer than other honey are likely to darken in color due to oxidation. Dark honey is generally sweeter and sharper in flavor than light honey.
Types of Dark Honey
Some varieties of dark or black honey include buckwheat, blackbutt, wildflower, thyme, dandelion, jarrah, chestnut, meadow, and manuka honey. These varieties also contain higher concentrations of antioxidants and other powerful nutrients. For example, honey extracted from Buckwheat flowers is highly nutritious. Also, Blackbutt honey is collected from a type of eucalyptus called Blackbutt of Glen Eagle Forest, which is quite thick and tastes like syrup. In addition, manuka honey, which can only be extracted from New Zealand’s native tea leaf (Leptospermum Scoparium), is considered to be the healthiest and richest dark honey. According to various studies, this type of dark honey helps to boost the human digestion system and also improves skin health, sleep, and the immune system. In addition to these, dark-colored organic black honey extracted from the deep forests of West Africa is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and a variety of herbal ingredients that are very beneficial to the human body.
The U.S. The Department of Agriculture has classified honey into 7 color grades: water white, extra white, white, extra light amber, light amber, amber, and dark amber. In addition to color, honey is graded based on clarity, flavor, and absence of imperfections into Grade A, Grade B, Grade C. Among them, Grade A or Darker Amber Honey is considered the highest quality honey.
Rise of the Popularity of Dark Honey
Since the adoption of the internet in Bangladesh, the public has become more aware of health issues. Nowadays, people are getting to know about the benefits of Chia seeds and Aloe Vera, along with Almond, Walnut, Blueberry, and Raspberry, through various local and foreign influencers on social media. Apart from adding sweetness to various foods and pies on the subcontinent, honey has been used as natural food and medicine for various diseases since early times. There is a long history of honey being used on the subcontinent for treating colds, coughs, and other respiratory and lung ailments. Aside from providing heat and energy for the body, honey is an excellent source of sugar. And as a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, honey is also very beneficial to the human body. Due to the various properties of honey, Muslims in Bangladesh consume it even from a religious perspective. In addition to this, honey has been used since ancient times for cosmetic purposes.
The source of the finest quality honey in Bangladesh is mainly Sundarban honey. Earlier, Moyals used to sell honey in different markets in the country. As the demand for honey increased in the country, commercial honey cultivation was also initiated. Due to this, apart from Sundarbans honey, sunflower flower honey and black cumin honey are becoming more readily available in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, various local honey brands are gradually being created in the country due to various adulterations in open honey on the market. The availability of local honey brands as well as several international varieties has also increased. Currently, these brands are available in various grocery stores, super shops, e-commerce sites, and online grocery shops in the country. Meanwhile, thanks to the internet, people are getting to know about the different categories, colors, and tastes of honey and their benefits. As a result, Bangladeshi businessmen are currently importing honey from various countries according to different grades and qualities, including dark honey. Due to the nutritional value and health benefits of black honey, the demand for it has been gradually increasing in Bangladesh.
According to various studies, dark honey has a lower water content and a higher nutrient content than normal light honey. For example, buckwheat honey produced from the nectar collected from buckwheat flowers contains more nutrients, which is roughly 20 times more than any variant of light honey. Because of its nutritional value, the consumption of dark or black honey in conjunction with light honey is steadily increasing among honey consumers. Apart from its nutritional value, honey has many health benefits despite it being naturally sweet. Like other honey, dark honey contains high amounts of fructose. This makes honey much sweeter than regular sugar. This results in a large amount of sweetness in a small amount of honey. Moreover, dark honey can be used as a substitute for sugar in everyday cooking and in some baking. This does not have any effect on blood sugar level maintenance. In addition, dark honey is rich in antioxidants that are able to fight free radicals that damage human body cells. Of course, most types of honey are beneficial. However, dark honey lowers blood pressure and maintains a regular heartbeat, while also reducing the death rate of healthy cells in the body.
Besides, honey has been used as a treatment for cuts or burns on the human body since ancient times. And since dark honey contains more minerals and antioxidants than light honey, dark honey is able to heal cuts and burns faster. Moreover, dark honey is very useful for curing common colds as well as skincare. Based on its nutritional value and various health benefits, the consumption of dark honey is constantly increasing among honey consumers worldwide. Currently, the consumption of dark honey can be observed in Bangladesh as well as in other countries of the world. Thus, several foreign brands are now available in a variety of department stores, superstores, e-commerce, and F-commerce sites throughout the country.
In addition, Organic Nutrition Ltd is the first company in the country to market USDA Organic Certified Organic Black Honey under the brand name Karkuma.