Question #249. Asked by MR.
Last updated Jun 14 2021.
Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. Through millennia, the archeologists discover, the food remains unspoiled, an unmistakable testament to the eternal shelf-life of honey. There are a few other examples of foods that keep–indefinitely–in their raw state: salt, sugar, dried rice are a few. But there’s something about honey; it can remain preserved in a completely edible form, and while you wouldn’t want to chow down on raw rice or straight salt, one could ostensibly dip into a thousand year old jar of honey and enjoy it, without preparation, as if it were a day old. Moreover, honey’s longevity lends it other properties–mainly medicinal–that other resilient foods don’t havehttps://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-science-behind-honeys-eternal-shelf-life-1218690/
In addition to having a low pH, honey has almost no water content and is loaded with sugar. This helps to dry out any bacteria that attempt to make its home in honey. Any bacteria that find itself in honey will have the water leached out of its cell walls thanks to osmosis.