Honey’s use in the bar formulation extends well beyond sweetening, and includes increasing the shelf life of bars through the three main factors that help maintain crumb softness: preventing moisture transfer, delaying starch recrystallization, and hydrolyzing starch.

Liquid honey is hygroscopic and enables products to maintain their moisture content far longer than products that use dry sweeteners. Honey, by design, does not give up its water easily. With an average water activity of 0.55, honey acts as a natural humectant.

Other ingredients that prevent moisture transfer are those that bind water, including starches, fibers, or maltodextrins. However, the amylase present in honey promotes crumb softness by effectively hydrolyzing starch, thereby contributing to moisture retention. Honey’s fructose content also holds in a bakery food’s moisture, thus reducing dry products, and the ingredient’s high acidity (average pH 3.91) inhibits mold growth.

Honey also will impact color dependent on the varietal used. If a darker honey is used, such as buckwheat, the bar will take on a darker color. Lighter colored honeys such as clover and orange blossom will be more neutral in their color contribution to the finished products.

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Honey Showcased at The Natural Products Expo West

The 35th annual Natural Products Expo West took place March 4-8, 2015
in Anaheim, CA.

This is the largest natural, organic and healthy products event in the world with 71,000 industry members in attendance and more than 2,700 exhibiting companies. With the trends toward Paleo and minimally processed, nutrient-dense products, honey made a strong showing in many new product launches.  Here are just a few of the delicious honey-infused creations exhibited at the expo.

Bare Show Me the Honey Coconut Chips

Bare’s Show Me the Honey Coconut Chips are made with honey and make for a great snack. The company started 12 years ago in Washington by creating baked apple chips. Each product, including these chips, are made with seven ingredients or less and contain no added sugar, no GMOs, and are gluten, dairy, and nut free. This delectable baked coconut snack gets the stamp of approval from just about every diet.

Dave’s Killer Bread Seeded Honey Wheat

This organic bread not only comes with great taste, but it also comes with a great story. Dave Dahl, an ex-felon, started Dave’s Killer Bread in 2005 with help from his brother and nephew in Portland, Oregon. The company has grown quickly and began to ship internationally last year. Dave’s Killer Bread continues to have a focus on second chances with 1 out of 3 employees hired having a criminal background. At 5g of protein per slice and almost four tablespoons of pure organic honey in each loaf, this Seeded Honey Wheat doesn’t get much better than this.

Lifeway Lowfat Honey Fig Kefir

Lifeway began in 1986 in Skokie, Ill. when Russian immigrant Michael Smolyansky decided to share kefir, a popular dairy drink in Eastern Europe, with his new home. Lowfat Honey Fig Kefir is a tangy and tart cultured milk smoothie with 12 active probiotic cultures. It’s an all-natural, protein and calcium-rich drink that you can enjoy any time of the day.

Blue Isle Honey Mediterranean Yogurt Spread

Karoun Dairies recently introduced Blue Isle’s Honey Mediterranean Yogurt Spread. The Sun Valley, Calif.-based company uses only fresh, growth hormone-free California milk and has done so since its founding in 1990. This subtly sweet spread has the consistency of cream cheese but comes in at almost half the fat and with probiotics. Use it as a spread, as part of a dip or in a recipe for a tasty treat.

Bonk Breaker Almond Cherry Chunk

Candy or protein bar? Your mouth won’t be able to tell with Bonk Breaker’s Almond Cherry Chunk.  Created by two elite athletes in 2005, Bonk Breaker has been named the Official Energy Bar of the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series and the Official Bar of USA Cycling. This gluten-free bar pairs almonds, cherries and chocolate before sweetening it with some honey. With 13g of protein in each bar, this is a treat without having to cheat on your diet.

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Snyder of Berlin Honey Barbeque Potato Chips

Snyder of Berlin’s Honey Barbeque Potato Chips are made from the finest potatoes and seasoned with BBQ sauce and a hint of honey, providing a real backyard honey barbeque taste experience—perfect as a snack or picnic side dish.

From its humble beginnings to today, Pennsylvania-based Snyder of Berlin has stood for quality and good taste. This once small company has grown to put $7.5 billion back into its local economy and produce more than 17 million pounds of potato chips annually.

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