BENEFITS OF NEW ZEALAND MANUKA HONEY 

Manuka Honey is unique to New Zealand – its healing properties have been a traditional part of folklore throughout New Zealand’s settled history. Ongoing laboratory and medical evidence using Manuka Honey supports the worth of this valuable resource. It is one of the most researched (and expensive) honeys in the world.

Manuka honey is produced by bees which gather nectar from the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium), a native New Zealand shrub species. Depending on grading method, all batches of genuine New Zealand Manuka Honey are strictly tested to determine their “Methylglyoxal Content” MG , MGO™ or MGS™ ; or their UMF® “Unique Manuka Factor” before being certified.

 

HOW TO CHOOSE REAL MANUKA HONEY (and avoid fakes)

Unfortunately there are many fraudulent products labelled as authentic, high grade Manuka honey, which are untested and uncertified. Some scammers are printing counterfeit labels of reputable, certified Manuka honey brands to sell inferior honey.

Historically, there have been various approaches that Manuka honey producers have used to convey the actual, or perceived, levels of bioactivity in their honey. To provide greater assurance for consumers looking for genuine New Zealand Manuka honey, the New Zealand Government released Interim Labelling Guidelines for it in 2014 – these regulations took effect in January 2015. For more information download a PDF copy of the new guidelines by visiting the Ministry for Primary Industries MPI website.

As a result, Manuka honey should either be labelled with the actual MG or MGO™ or MGS™ (Methylgloxal Content) test results (in mg/kg), or with a correlated rating on the UMF™ (Unique Manuka Factor) scale.

 


MG or MGO™ or MGS™ = METHYLGLYOXAL CONTENT

MGO™ is a trademark of Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd. and can only be used on Manuka Health branded products. MGS™ or Molan Gold Standard™ is a trademark of Watson & Son New Zealand Ltd. and is currently only used on Watson & Son branded products. Methylglyoxal content is an industry standard NZ government approved grading system for Manuka honey in New Zealand. Many top New Zealand Manuka Honey producers use this system and display MG grades on their product labels. All genuine manuka honey must have a sound measurement of MG / MGO™ / MGS™ or methylglyoxal. This naturally occurring compound is the key marker for determining the authenticity and potency of Manuka honey. The number that follow the letters “MG”, or “MGO™” or  “MGS™” in product labelling refers to the amount of Methylglyoxal in the honey when it was packed. This ranges from MG 30+ to MG 1050+ (mg/kg). The higher the rating, the higher the potency.

Methylglyoxal Content: Check the product label for all the following specifications:

1. MG or MGO™ or MGS™ grading on the front label, ranging from MG 30+ to MG 1050+ (Methylgloxal content in mg/kg)
2. Packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand (Not all MG / MGO or MGS brands are packed in NZ)
3. Actual New Zealand PACKERS (not marketers) physical address and email address.
4. New Zealand producer’s name
5. Batch number. Not mandatory, but as an added guarantee, look for the New Zealand Government’s RMP number on the label:  ie: RMP:W366. This number is the New Zealand Government’s audit trail from the shelf back to the actual hive site and NZ packing operation for the batch number found on the jar.
6. A rating of MG 30+ or more

 

 

 

UMF® = UNIQUE MANUKA FACTOR

A New Zealand trademark and grading system ensuring purity and quality. The UMF® trademark is internationally verified and recognised, and backed by an industry quality standard, independent audits and a network of accredited laboratories around the world. To carry the UMF trademark, the manufacturer or owner of the brand must hold a current UMF license with UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) in New Zealand. The UMF grading system appraises the following key natural markers found in Manuka honey: Leptosperin, DHA (dihydroxyacetone) and Methylglyoxal. The number following the letters “UMF” range from UMF 5+ to UMF 25+. The higher the rating, the higher the potency.

Unique Manuka Factor: Check the product label for all the following specifications:

1. UMF® trademark on the front label, ranging from UMF5+ to UMF25+
2. Packed into jars and labelled in New Zealand (Not all UMF brands are packed in NZ)
3. Actual New Zealand PACKERS (not marketers) physical address and email address.
4. New Zealand producer’s name
5. Producer’s UMFHA license number
6. Batch number. Not mandatory, but as an added guarantee, look for the New Zealand Government’s RMP number on the label:  ie: RMP:W366. This number is the New Zealand Government’s audit trail from the shelf back to the actual hive site and NZ packing operation for the batch number found on the jar.
7. A rating of UMF 5+ or more

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE MANUKA HONEY STRENGTH

The number that follow the letters “MG” / “MGO™” or MGS™ in New Zealand Manuka honey product labelling refer to the amount of Methylglyoxal in the honey when it was packed. This ranges from MG 30+ to MG 1050+ (mg/kg). The higher the MG / MGO or MGS rating, the higher the potency. The number following the letters “UMF” range from UMF 5+ to UMF 24+. The higher the UMF rating, the higher the potency.

 

 

HOW TO ENJOY MANUKA HONEY

The best way to enjoy it is right off the spoon or mixed in warm water. It also makes a great replacement for refined sugar in warm drinks, as well as the perfect accompaniment to breakfast foods, and smoothies. Manuka Honey also makes a great natural boost before or after a workout, as well as a wholesome addition to kid’s lunches.

 

HOW TO STORE MANUKA HONEY

Avoid exposure to high heat to protect the natural properties of honey. It should be stored in the pantry, not in the fridge. Cold temperatures can result in honey crystallisation.

 

OTHER MANUKA HONEY GRADING SYSTEMS

The following Manuka honey grading systems are not regulated under New Zealand law. For this reason we recommend avoiding products labelled with these systems.

A (Active) or TA (Total Activity) or BioActive
A grade accepted in USA and Canada, comes from “antibacterial”, but it doesn’t tell us the factors giving the antibacterial effect. It refers more to the peroxide activity, common to all honeys. It is not regulated by any association. Producers that use ACTIVE grade, followed by a number, take also into consideration some other factors that define a honey’s quality: live enzymes, pollen count, chemical/residue analysis, antioxidant levels, the raw status or unpasteurisation process and various other phytochemical factors found in Manuka honey.

NPA = Non Peroxide Activity
Some marketers use this grade on their jars. The measuring scale starts from 8. They refer to the non-peroxide activity, but are not members of UMFHA and cannot show a UMF grade.

KFACTOR™ (Key Factors)
A trademark of Wedderspoon company. From their website: “Wedderspoon has created KFactor™, a holistic multi-stage authentication system named for the Key Factors inherent in this distinctive honey.”
KFactor™ 12 – guarantees 65% of the pollen grains in the honey are Manuka pollen grains.
KFactor™ 16 – guarantees 75% of the pollen grains in the honey are Manuka pollen grains.
KFactor™ 22 – guarantees 90% of the pollen grains in the honey are Manuka pollen grains.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: 

If bulk Manuka honey is shipped from New Zealand and packed and labelled in another country, there can be no guarantee to the consumer at this time, what they are actually purchasing. This is because the bulk Manuka honey (while in perfect condition when it leaves New Zealand), upon arrival in the destination country, comes under that country’s labelling and packing laws. Most countries allow for honey to be mixed with other countries honeys (which means a jar of manuka honey packed outside of New Zealand, could well have another country’s honey in it as a filler. It will of course also have some New Zealand Manuka / Kanuka honey in it! By this time however, the product is highly likely pasteurised, creamed and blended. This loses a lot of its original flavour as well as some of its natural enzymes and goodness. We highly recommend purchasing manuka honey that is physically packed and labelled in New Zealand as this can be traced back immediately.

 

New Zealand Way stocks genuine MGO™ and MGS™ certified New Zealand Manuka Honey.
We welcome any feedback and suggestions.
Contact us:  Email: info@newzealandway.nz
Online Shop: newzealandway.nz

 

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