Manuka Honey is produced in both Australia and New Zealand. It is highly prized for its methylglyoxal content – a naturally occurring compound with medicinal qualities. In Australia, Manuka Honey is stringently tested and certified according to criteria set by the Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA). Similar to UMF Certification in New Zealand, the AMHA is the Australian Manuka Honey governing body. This article investigates certified Manuka Honey and busts the myths surrounding Australian and New Zealand Manuka Honey, certifications and grading.

What is certified Manuka Honey?

The methylglyoxal content of Manuka Honey can only be determined by scientific testing carried out in a certified laboratory. Each batch is recorded and provided a Certificate of Analysis, guaranteeing the level of MGO present.

As Australian Manuka Honey suppliers, each batch of AB’s Manuka Honey is independently tested at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Honey Lab; one of six Australian Manuka Honey Association approved testing laboratories in Australia.

Uncertified Manuka Honey – do you know what you are getting?

It has been noted in past government records that significantly more “Manuka Honey” has been sold than Australia and New Zealand have produced. Manuka is related to Tea Tree, and unscrupulous businesses have taken advantage of consumers by labelling their tea tree honey – or honeys of similar taste and appearance – as manuka honey. Only genuine Manuka Honey contains active methylglyoxal and DHA at levels appropriate for therapeutic use.

Before buying bulk manuka honey, check with your Manuka Honey supplier for a Certificate of Analysis. If none can be supplied, you are likely not being delivered real manuka honey. Don’t take the risk of dealing with fake honey. AB’s Honey guarantees only pure raw Australian Manuka Honey. Buying 100% Australian products reduces the risk of fraud food.

New Zealand UMF Certification Vs Australian Manuka Honey Association certification – what to look for

Methylglyoxal (MGO) occurs naturally in honey produced by bees foraging the blossoms of manuka trees. It is a powerful antioxidant and antibiotic. It can be used topically to treat skin conditions, or consumed orally for its health benefits. If you are buying active Manuka Honey for its medicinal purposes, you want to know that you are buying the best. Knowing the MGO level can help you choose the strength most suited to your business purpose.

For certified Manuka Honey Australia measures the methylglyoxal content in mg/kg. The level is stated on the label. The higher the number, the more MGO present. For example, our Manuka Honey MGO 900+ is certified to have more than 900mg of methylglyoxal present in every 1kg of honey. You know you are dealing with certified Australian Manuka Honey suppliers when a certificate of analysis is supplied at your request.

New Zealand uses a scale called Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF), which looks at methylglyoxal, dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and leptosperin. The scale runs from UMF 5 (approximately MGO 83) to UMF 25 (approximately MGO 1200).

Is MGO better than UMF?

Both scales measure the level of methylglyoxal present in Manuka Honey. If the methylglyoxal content is important to you, the MGO scale is a clearer indication of the level of methylglyoxal present.

The Manuka Honey trademark battle

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) rejected the application by the New Zealand Manuka Honey Appellation Society (NZ MHAS) to trademark the words “Manuka honey” in December 2021. Mānuka, with the macron accent, is a recognised Māori word for the leptospermum (jelly bush) tree, but the word manuka has been in common usage in Australia since the 1800s.

The Australian honey industry has invested significantly for decades in manuka honey science, research, and marketing. It is responsible for many scientific discoveries relating to Manuka Honey’s medicinal and therapeutic uses.

The IPO recognises that Manuka is a purely descriptive term for a type of honey (just like Yellow Box Honey or Tea Tree Honey for example) and has widespread use in jurisdictions beyond New Zealand.

Australian certified Manuka Honey suppliers

AB’s Honey supplies the finest pure, raw Australian Manuka Honey suitable for cosmetic, therapeutic, and food use. Visit our Manuka Honey page to learn more.

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