General Question

AlyxCaitlin's avatar

Why is honey so sweet?

Asked by AlyxCaitlin (933points) February 21st, 2010

I understand how honey is made, by the bees, pollen and combs idea. But what makes it that the honey is so fackin’ sweet!? I love making honey and peanut butter sandwiches, and I would enjoy the thought of knowing.

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9 Answers

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Plants produce glucose (and other types of sugars), which is used as a constituent of nectar. The sweetness comes from the plants, not the bees.

bedofblackroses's avatar

honey comes from the nectar in flowers, which is naturally sweet.

candide's avatar

because it has sugar in it

timothykinney's avatar

Your tongue is a sense organ which recognizes certain classes of molecules. When a substance contacts the taste buds, they respond with nerve signals to the brain. The brain then interprets this as the flavor of the substance, such as sweetness or acidity. The particular class of substances that taste sweet are generally known as sugars. There are actually many sweet molecules and many different kinds of sugars. Some sugar molecules are sweeter than other, and they might have different effects on your body. Honey contains some of the sweetest of the molecules and so it registers as “fackin’ sweet” in your brain.

Specifically, according to Wikipedia:
“Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose and has approximately the same relative sweetness as that of granulated sugar (74% of the sweetness of sucrose, a disaccharide).” source

If you’re really interested in the science of flavor, spend some time studying organic chemistry (just the basics) and polymer chemistry (again, the basics). It might also be interesting to think about how flavors map to the brain and people claim to taste various flavors (apples, cranberries, almonds, etc.) in a glass of wine. Clearly, there aren’t really apples and almonds in the glass of wine. But the flavors arise because of similarities between the flavor molecules of apples and the flavor molecules of wine.

In fact, the basis of gourmet cooking is understanding the chemistry of food and how to mix flavors in a way that is complex, balanced, and delicious.

AstroChuck's avatar

Because she loves me. And nobody calls my girl honey but me. Got it?

ChaosCross's avatar

Because bees make honey, and they are the nicest ladies in the world.

bea2345's avatar

If I remember my organic chemistry, honey is a supersaturated solution of fructose and glucose. Hence the intense sweetness.

YARNLADY's avatar

It isn’t the honey, it is the taste receptors on your tongue. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm

HonRem's avatar

Because it contains glucose (type of simple sugar). Go healthy with your honey sandwiches.

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