Honey is primarily
fructose and glucose in that order, with a little
sucrose (about 1%), and less than 10% other sugars, and about 17% water.
The low water content is important to many of honey's properties. It makes
it thick, it prevents spoilage, but is enough to keep it liquid.
Because there is so little water in honey, microorganisms that encounter
honey die as the water in them is removed by osmosis. In addition, as
honey is diluted with water, a chemical reaction between glucose, water,
and oxygen produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide and gluconic acid.
The slow release of hydrogen peroxide makes honey a mild antiseptic. The
acidity of honey also reduces the number of organisms that can live in it.
Honey is mostly used as a sweetener, but it has been used to treat wounds
and as a preservative.