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King Tut’s Sweet Tooth

Among the treasures discovered during the famous 1922 archaeological excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb was a jar of honey.  Archaeologists tasted it (brave souls those archeologists), and to their amazement, found it to be as sweet as, well, honey.  Due to its low water content and acidic pH, this bee regurgitation is one of the few foods that does not spoil.  The sticky goo starts out as flower nectar, containing about 60% water.  Bees add enzymes that break down the complex carbohydrates to simple sugars and then store the nectar in honeycombs where the water content is reduced to about 18% through evaporation.  Sweet chemistry!

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