Mead production: tradition versus modernity Chapter uri icon


  • Honey is a natural product with recognized physical and chemical properties, which contribute to its biological activity. However, honey is currently being sold at low prices, making it imperative to find alternatives to make apiculture a viable national enterprise. One of these alternatives could be mead production. Despite the excellent properties of honey, mead production faces several problems, namely, delays and “pouts” fermentations, lack of product uniformity, and production of yeast off-flavors. Many factors might be related with these problems, such as honey variety, temperature, medium composition (vitamin and nitrogen content), fermentative yeast, and pH. Due to all these factors, mead production has decreased over the years. To overcome this situation, more research is needed to optimize the production of this beverage. This chapter presents a comprehensive review of previous research on mead production. It will focus on honey characterization and mead production. The first section covers honey composition and the way this affects honey properties, as well as important parameters that are indicators of honey quality. The second section discusses mead production, including fermentative microorganisms, fermentation conditions, and required postfermentation adjustments and maturation conditions. The final section focuses on the problems that must be surpassed and what the future holds for mead production.

publication date

  • 2011