Finding pure New Zealand Manuka honey can be difficult in an industry loaded with smoke and mirrors. However, there are a few key features to look out for to ensure that you’re buying the best Manuka honey on the market.
This blog will outline the key certifications and validations that will confirm genuine Manuka honey product is just that.
What Is The Scientific Definition For Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is a sacred part of New Zealand culture as well as being a key export. This specific type of honey is not found anywhere else globally. As a result, it deserves a scientific definition to protect this treasured substance.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI), as an arm of the New Zealand Government, has a precise definition for monofloral Manuka honey. The test to certify Manuka honey from NZ requires all five specific attributes to be present in the product.
All of the following chemicals must be present at individual concentrations:
- 3-Phenyllactic acid
- 2-Methoxybenzoic acid
- 4-Hydroxyphenyllactic acid
Alongside these four chemical markers, a fifth DNA marker is necessary for certification. This DNA marker is leptosperin, a unique ingredient of the native Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium).
All honey labelled as Manuka for exporting must be tested by an MPI-recognised and independent laboratory to ensure it meets this definition.
What Is MGO?
Methylglyoxal or MGO is one of the vital bioactive ingredients found within Manuka honey. This chemical is naturally occurring and is typically located in the nectar of the Manuka flower. However, in the last four decades, MGO was found to be the elusive magic Manuka ingredient that contains antibacterial properties.
Not all Manuka Honey has the ability to mature with increasing levels of MGO. It takes talented and experienced artisans to capture the honey at the right quality and potency. MGO is measured based on the concentration of the chemical under the unit of mg/kg. Each MGO number corresponds to the level of the chemical within the product.
Any concentration under MGO 83+ is considered a multi-floral blend and thus not deemed monofloral Manuka honey. However, concentrations can go as high as MGO 1200+, which are considered very rare.
What Is UMF™, And Why Is It Important?
UMF™ or Unique Manuka Factor™ is the gold standard of Manuka honey certifications and verifications. As the most internationally-renowned certifier of pure Manuka honey, there are two key features to look out for when browsing items:
- Label - the UMF label will indicate that this product meets the necessary criteria
- Number - Based on potency, UMF ranks products between UMF™5+ to UMF™32+
Specifically, the number corresponds to the concentration of the key bioactive ingredients that give Manuka honey its unique properties. These bioactive chemicals include:
- Methylglyoxal (MGO)
- Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) - the precursor to MGO, this chemical indicates naturally occurring MGO.
While quality is always vital in finding the right Manuka honey, the UMF™ stamp of approval makes life much easier. When buying UMF™ certified Manuka honey, you’ll be sure that you’re purchasing a product that has gone through rigorous independent testing from accredited laboratories.
When purchasing genuine Manuka honey, it’s important to buy honey sourced, crafted, verified and packaged in New Zealand.
Primal by Nature - The Manuka Honey of Tomorrow
All Primal by Nature Manuka honey arrives at your door in glass jars regardless of the level of MGO or UMF™. We believe that our pure New Zealand Manuka honey must be the best in every respect and should be available to consumers in the same eco-friendly packaging.
Primal by Nature eliminates the confusion surrounding Manuka honey UMF™ grading systems and standards. As a result, you will be made aware of what the different grades represent and be confident in buying a product that reflects an environmentally conscious, sustainable brand.Taking Manuka honey to the next level, every glass jar of Primal by Nature contains a potent primal burst of nature. To taste Manuka honey of this stature is to embrace nature itself. So take a look at our extensive selection of Manuka honey products and become one with nature.