Freshness of pollen

Dear Angela,

I have been buying pollen here in Malta from a place which specializes in honey products. They bring their pollen from France and when asked questions about freshness they told me that they bring the pollen in January and May to avoid the excessive heat and when transporting in Malta itself they do it early morning or late evening especially in summer. The last packet I bought looked and tasted different from the ones I bought before since June. The granules looked darker and to my eyes as if they have been moisted with something and there was a good quantity of pollen dust mingled with the granules in the packet, the taste was also on the bitter side.
With your permission and if it is no problem I am willing to send you a sample for your opinion.

Best Wishes,

Peter Faure.


Hi Peter,
Sure, we'd be happy to have a look at it if you'd like.


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Pollen freshness for use.

I purchased some dried bee pollen pellets. i've had the jar stored in a dark dry pantry for a few weeks now; maybe a month. I am wondering how good it really is to eat? I've opened and consumed some pollen, but didn't know that i needed to freeze or refrigerate.I see no sign of mold either. Can i store in freezer or frig or do i toss in the trash compost? Thanks for your time.

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Bee Pollen freshness? Sour taste...

by Robb
(Phoenix AZ)

Can you reasonable determine FRESHNESS and proper storage when you buy bee pollen? By taste, or color, or texture, or....?

I ask because I recently bought some at a farmer's market from a man who seemed very honest and told me it was harvested last Summer from mountain locations in Colorado. (He did candidly tell me he keeps it in his truck uncooled as he travels).

It had a slightly sour taste to it. I've been eating bee pollen for 30 years and every batch tastes different but I've never experienced this flavor. Is SOUR an indication of degenerated bee pollen? (Color and texture seem in the usual range).

Thanks for your advice.


Hi Robb,
Great question. You are correct in that taste/smell is a very good indicator of freshness. Texture would be another one but is not reliable with pollen that has been dried, which is 99% of all bee pollen on the market. Fresh pollen right out of the hive is quite soft. A sour taste could very well indicate bee pollen that is going bad due to improper storage or pollen that is simply old. The taste of bee pollen is primarily determined by the floral sources of the pollen, as you know. But I am not aware of any plants that will cause the pollen to be sour in taste. Not to say that it doesn't exist, but I've never encountered that taste. And as you've stated in all your years of consuming bee pollen, you've never encountered it either. So you may want to avoid this pollen....

The only other indicator would be mold but this is harder to pick up unless it is widespread and very evident. (in which case it is unlikely that the farmer would be trying to sell it)

Hope that helps,

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