Honey is the ideal liquid sweetener for the high-volume baking industry, giving bakers and snack food manufacturers the ability to use a natural liquid sweetener without losing functionality. Honey is composed of numerous sugars, including fructose (38.5%), glucose (31%), maltose (7.2%) and sucrose (1.5%), and the color and flavor differ, depending on the bees’ nectar source.

As a sweetener though, honey imparts exceptional flavors in products such as breads, tortillas, cookies, crackers, sweet goods, fillings and toppings. More importantly, it naturally sweetens baked goods and snack foods, and allows for a “clean label” alternative to other sweeteners.

Honey’s use in the baking and snack industry, however, extends well beyond sweetening. In fact, it offers flavor, form and functionality benefits, including extending the shelf life of bakery foods. Likewise, honey’s fructose content holds in moisture, thus reducing dry products. Honey also has a high acidity (average pH 3.91), which inhibits mold growth.

There are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossom. This simple yet complex variety of flavors allows food manufacturers to launch complete product lines of honey-sweetened foods, all with different flavor profiles.

For more information, go to www.bakingwithhoney.com.

Editor’s Note: The National Honey Board, Firestone, Colo., provided the information for this article.