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Last Updated: Mar 28th, 2003 - 12:59:41 

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Osmosis and Honey
By Sarah Lane
Dec 2, 2002, 1:37pm


Topic: Osmosis and Honey

ClassBrain Visitor:

I have an assignment about osmosis. I need to know how osmosis is related to the preservation of honey. Please answer as soon as you can. Thank you.

ClassBrain Response:

Believe it or not, honey was used in ancient times by the Romans to preserve meats and fruits. The reason why this worked is because of its sugar content and, yes, you guessed it... osmosis!

The sugar in honey removes water from microorganisms like bacteria trying to grow on the meats and fruits through the process of osmosis. Osmosis is the passage of a liquid through a semi-permeable membrane. In other words, honey draws water to itself.

Honey has been used for centuries as an anti-bacterial treatment to put on open wounds. It seals the cut and refuses to allow any bacteria to grow on it, because as explained above, the sugar in honey sucks the water out of bacteria through osmosis, causing it to die.

We hope this helps you in your search for information.

For more information on this topic, check these sites:

First Chemist

The McGill Office for Chemistry and Society

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