Canadian Honey Grades


Canadian Honey Grades

Does the phrase “Canada No. 1 Honey” on the front of a honey jar mean it was made in Canada? No, it doesn’t. The phrase signifies the visual and chemical composition of the honey, by Canadian standards. In the US, the system uses an alphabetical system such as “Grade A” honey. For the most part, they are very similar, but there is specific to the origin of the honey.

Grade No.1 honey has a requirement that it does not contain more than 17.8% water or 18.6% water if pasteurized. And beyond that, it has requirements for that no foreign material greater than 0.180mm be present as well as 0.1% insoluble solids, or if pressed honey 0.5%. Then obviously, it has to have the characteristic smell and appearance of honey, with no off aromas. Honey can also have  colour on the label using one of the four descriptors: White, Amber, Golden and Dark

Grade N0. 2 and No.3 are similar but allow slightly more water and increased solids and non-solubles. These grades are often used for cooking or other industrial product and are rarely sold directly to consumers.

If you want honey made in a particular country, that should be stated on the label as “Product of Canada” or “Product of the USA”. Transhipment of honey around the world has weakened the product of origin labelling, but if you buy from a local beekeeper you are getting local honey.

OMAFRA Honey Grading Guide

CFIA Honey Guide

Last modified: March 4, 2019

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