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New Zealand Manuka Honey

Understanding New Zealand sourced Manuka Honey 

What is Manuka honey?

Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey is honey that bees have produced using the flowers of the Manuka tree. It is monofloral meaning the honey nectar has come from one main flower – the Manuka flower.

The Manuka tree grows abundantly throughout New Zealand, often in extremely rugged and remote terrain. When hives are placed in these remote areas where the Manuka trees dominate the landscape, the result is Manuka Honey. There is only one native Manuka tree grown in New Zealand

Manuka honey contains an extraordinary enzyme called methylglyoxal (MGO). This property is unique to Manuka honey and is not found in any other type of honey.

Manuka honey is very expensive, mainly because of its UMF activity, so beekeepers are keen for their bees to make lots of pure Manuka honey with high UMF or MGO levels.  They want their bees to ideally just visit Manuka flowers. But the bees can fly up to 8 km from their hive and stop and get nectar from other flowers as well as Manuka.  We can now test to see if the honey really is Manuka honey, and there is a well-developed science around measuring UMF and MGO

Multiflora Honey 

 Multiflora honey  is a honey that is from the nectar of many flowers.  It has either been blended / mixed up by the bees as they fly from one variety of flower to another or it may have been mixed by the beekeeper or processing factory.  Multiflora honeys should be a lot cheaper than a Manuka honey.

 Labelling of Honey

 If a honey is labelled

 Manuka Blend, then it has a bit of Manuka (probably less than 30%,) no UMF activity and is a mix of flower nectars.

Manuka Honey, but no number, then it is probably more than 30% Manuka, but little or no UMF activity, But still a great honey and it will probably be more expensive than most other monofloralhoneys.

Then there are the Manuka honeys with numbers prefixed by words such as ‘BioActive’, ‘’Áctive +’’, ‘’Total Activity’’ MGO or UMF.  These different grading systems cause a lot of confusion.  But usually the higher the number in the grading system of 5, 10 15 and 20, then the more active and therefore the more expensive….  

Here is a simple explanation

 Manuka with a number (e.g. 5, 10, 15. 20 UMF or 100, 200, up to 800 MGO) plus the words ‘Total Activity’’ –.  

Total Activity is not the same as UMF or MGO and can sometimes be an attempt to mislead the consumer.

Bioactive or Active +. 

These are legitimate descriptions but to be sure you are getting a genuine product, always ask to see the laboratory test results confirming the MGO or NPA/UMF.

 UMF – any brand.  These should be a genuine product, backed up by the UMF brand as it is part of an association and members can only use the UMF.

 MGO – this is a completely different numbering system to the UMF and does cause confusion with consumers.  Non-members of the UMF Association use MGO for grading their honey.

 Our practice is to use the MGO label but to put the MGO/UMF equivalent table on the label to ensure that there is clarity about the labelling

We cannot guarantee the accuracy of other systems of measurement, but here’s an approximate MGO vs UMF conversion guide:

UMF5+ Manuka honey has a minimum MGO rating of 83, equal to a minimum UMF rating of 5.

UMF10+ Manuka honey has a minimum MGO rating of 263, equal to a minimum UMF rating of 10.

UMF15+ Manuka honey has a minimum MGO rating of 514, equal to a minimum UMF rating of 15.

UMF18+ Manuka honey has a minimum MGO rating of 696, equal to a minimum UMF rating of 18.

UMF20+ Manuka honey has a minimum MGO rating of 829, equal to a minimum UMF rating of 20.

Please note our product is only the range is MGO 800+