I thought I know how to determine fake honey from real, or adulterated from not. A simple test of pouring some in a clear glass of water. If it goes straight to bottom and show distinct separation, then it is real. You can continue buying the specific brand while do monitoring once in a while. If it readily dissoves, then it is fake or perhaps adulterated. Find and test another brand until one passes this criteria.
However, this is not always true. Honey that passes this test may still be fake or adulterated. Why is that? According ot USFDA, any honey that has been ultrafiltered and no longer contains pollen isn’t honey. So even if it is legitimate but processed through ultrafiltration, then it is not honey.
Pollen is the only foolproof sign of identifying honey source. So this further voids the simple test above. Maybe, with technological advancement, somebody developed a honey like liquid able to overcome this test.
Ultrafiltration involves heating and sometimes watering, to thin down liquid, then passing it through ultrafine filters, and finally removing the previously added water. It removes debris, bubbles and pollen.
I see two reasons here. First is removal of pollen. Second is addition of water. Although it is evaporated in the end, I find it still unacceptable. We use honey because we know it is natural and healthy. We could have just resorted to white sugar it this is the case.
Honey.com has a different point of view. They agree that ultrafiletered honey isn’t honey at all. They added it results to a clear colorless sweetener. Hmmm.. the color pigments are also removed. However, honey that is traditionally filtered and pollen removed, is still honey. Honey is made from nectar, not pollen. They are incidental guest.
In the end, we have no way of knowing if honeys on grocery shelves are fake or not. We have no honey testing facilities here.