Madagascar’s Niaouli Honey, Highly Prized by the Population

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read

In Madagascar, one of the country’s most renowned kinds of honey is that of niaouli, highly sought after by the population for its recognized medicinal properties. Harvesting is currently in full swing on the East Coast, where the tree thrives abundantly. A report from a honey processing facility on the outskirts of the capital reveals the reception of one and a half tons of this precious nectar harvested in Manakara.

Andy Chan Fah oversees operations at Honey Company, an enterprise in Madagascar that harvests and markets “engaged” kinds of honey committed to the social and environmental development of the island. Since yesterday, the honey processing facility has been operating at full capacity.

“So here, we have niaouli honey undergoing decantation,” explains Andy Chan Fah. “This is to filter out all impurities. That machine over there is used for dehumidifying the honey, leaving only 16.5% moisture content to prevent fermentation. And in another room, that’s our special touch: this is where we stir our honey to break down crystallization and make it smoother. This is a cold process to preserve all the honey enzymes containing natural properties.”

“These natural properties are well-known to Malagasy people who practice traditional medicine,” says Elyna Mahitasoa, a botanist at IMRA, the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research. “When bees collect nectar from niaouli flowers, they gather active principles. These molecules have antiseptic or decongestant properties. The population often uses it to treat respiratory infections like flu or colds.”

Honey is arguably one of the last unprocessed foods, directly usable by humans. In Madagascar, nature is bountiful: the island boasts about twenty different types of honey, some of which are extremely rare.

Soukiana Sghir

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