Honey Adds Health Benefits, Preserves and Sweetens Salad Dressings
January 27, 2009
University of Illinois food chemistry researcher Nicki Engeseth conducted a study that found that the antioxidants in honey protected the quality of the salad dressings for up to nine months while sweetening them naturally.

Engeseth's study substituted honey for an additive used to keep the oils in salad dressings from oxidizing, and a high-fructose corn syrup, used by many commercial salad-dressing producers to sweeten their salad dressing recipes.

The researchers found that enzymes in the honey broke the emulsion by attacking the starch that was used to thicken the dressing. They came up with a new formulation that used xanthan gum as a thickening agent.

After being stored for nine months under various conditions, both types of honey they used were effective in protecting against oxidation or spoilage.

Engeseth said that if manufacturers are interested in developing salad dressings that have a healthy twist, this demonstrates that using honey as both an antioxidant and a sweetener is one way to do it.