The natural colour spectrum of honey can vary from light amber to even black. It is dependent on several different factors such as:
-Mineral and ash content (higher levels result in a darker honey)
-Temperature (higher temperatures have been linked to darker colour)
– Plant pigments such as flavonoids (which also have antioxidant properties). Darker honey is associated with a higher amount of pigments and also a higher antioxidant content.
-Crystallization is a process that occurs naturally in honey. Two main sugars in honey, glucose and fructose , influence the crystallization of honey depending on their ratio. Honey with a high glucose:fructose ratio will crystallize faster than honey with a lower glucose:fructose ratio. During crystallization, honey becomes lighter and more opaque.
-Processing and handling honey and length of time stored can also affect the colour, making it become darker.
Darker honeys have also been associated with having a high antibacterial activity.