This is really a hot topic among royal jelly consumers. Despite having a good deal of clear information on its origins and the methods used to process it, I am still asked quite frequently about the differences between fresh liquid and lyophilized royal jelly.

The reason for the lack of clarity is that there is some extremely misleading information available, courtesy of the Internet.

Unfortunately, in certain ‘high profile’ cases, it is intended to be misleading, so as to sell a particular type of product. One company, who shall remain nameless, makes a big marketing shout on the ‘virtues’ of their supposedly “fresh, liquid royal jelly”. Apparently, it’s so much better than the freeze-dried alternative.

Other companies, not so high-profile, wrap themselves up in the cozy blanket of being USA beekeepers. One assumes that their royal jelly came from their own beehives, a completely FALSE assumption.

Well, let’s explore some simple facts and then you can decide for yourself.

In simple terms, royal jelly can be removed from the hive and processed or it can be removed from the hive and pasteurized, then further processed. It’s important to know which version of royal jelly you are consuming. Unfortunately, most companies will make no mention of any pasteurization having taken place, since we all know that it damages the live enzymes and affects the nutritional integrity of any product.

Back to those unscrupulous marketers and their claims about “liquid” royal jelly being the only choice – if your product is pasteurized then delivered to you in liquid form, marketed as “fresh, non-lyophilized royal jelly” – well, technically the marketing blurb is correct, but what about the pasteurization stage?…don’t you think that applying heat to the substance would do great harm? I do, and it does.

But surely manufacturers/processors do not pasteurize a health supplement? Well they do, and in many cases the reasons for the pasteurization relate to exporting the product in liquid form from Asia to the USA, where it is further processed for resale to consumers. The pasteurization is required to remove/prevent harmful bacteria from liquids, as required by import regulations. Let me be clear. You could be consuming fresh, liquid royal jelly which is touted as being superior to ‘freeze-dried’ royal jelly, but it may have been pasteurized prior to shipping to this country.

Then, what about taking fresh, liquid royal jelly and lyophilizing it without any pasteurization? [read more on freeze-dried royal jelly here] So we take the fresh liquid and we pass cold air across it to evaporate the moisture (water). What is left is basically a concentrated powder that has had no heat exposure other than cold air – Now we have a potent powder with all the nutrients locked in.
Doesn’t that sound better than something which has been pasteurized and promoted as “Fresh liquid royal jelly”? Yes, and it should do, it is. Link to pasteurized royal jelly facts

Let me reiterate this important point. If I’m a supplier, selling ‘liquid’ royal jelly in the USA, then there’s a high chance that the product originated in Asia (where it is most abundant), was pasteurized in Asia, shipped to the USA in bulk and processed into smaller containers/jars/capsules, and marketed as ‘fresh liquid royal jelly’, without any mention of pasteurization having taken place.

On the other hand, if I’m a supplier selling ‘freeze-dried royal jelly powder’ here in the USA, then it will most likely have taken one of three routes before it arrives with you, the end user.

1 – The product was farmed in Asia, lyophilized (freeze-dried) in Asia, shipped in bulk as a powder for capsulating in the USA, without any need for pasteurization.
2 – The product was farmed in Asia, pasteurized and shipped to the USA in liquid form either for lyophilizing/capsulating or processing into smaller jars for sale to the end user.
3 – The product was farmed in the USA and was processed in the USA without a requirement for pasteurization. – This is quite rare, since domestic USA royal jelly is in very limited supply.

If you see a small beekeeper offering royal jelly capsules, then firstly, he or she would not have the required number of hives from which to draw off this substance, since it’s available in such tiny quantities from each hive. Secondly, they wouldn’t have the manufacturing capacity to handle/process royal jelly on-site themselves. So, you guessed it, they use larger processors who source the royal jelly overseas and capsulate/bottle/label under contract to the small beekeepers.

So be extremely careful and try to research and understand exactly what it is that you are getting, not all of it is created equal.