UMF™ is the gold standard in Manuka ratings and is backed by the New Zealand government for its verification of quality and potency. Here’s a simple guide of how to tell the difference between verifiable quality and marketing hype.
Manuka honey is collected from Manuka (Leptospermum Scoparium) flowers. This flower is only available from New Zealand’s most pure and remote locations. Renowned for its rich flavour, Manuka Honey is recognised worldwide for its unique properties not found in ordinary honey. With a flowering season of just 2-6 weeks a year, it is one of nature's special gifts.
Manuka has been used medicinally for aiding sore throats, skin conditions and digestion. Medical Manuka honey has been clinically proven to promote wound healing and reduce risk of infection1.
All honey has varying levels of anti-bacterial activity from hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide is affected by heat, light, time and commercial processing2. Manuka honey is unique because it contains a natural activity, ie Methylglyoxal (MG), which displays significant antibacterial effects than Hydrogen Peroxide3. In vitro studies have revealed that the Manuka honey is effective against several bacteria3.
Methylglyoxal (MG) can be added into honey, this is why at Comvita, we test for all 3 naturally occurring chemical markers: Leptosperin, Methylglyoxal (MG) and Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), in order to ensure the best quality genuine UMF® Manuka honey.
UMF® stands for "Unique Manuka Factor". The UMF grading system appraises natural markers found in Manuka honey, and assures purity & quality. The UMF® number indicates the level of the unique Manuka properties within the honey. The higher the grade the higher the purity, this only applies to UMF® graded honey.
|Rating||No number put on pack. Comvita calls this Manuka Blend.||30||20*||?|
Every batch of Comvita® UMF® Manuka honey is independently analysed and certified for quality, purity and authenticity by the UMF® Honey Association (UMFHA). The UMFHA also conducts random sampling to monitor quality regularly, ensure Manuka honey carrying the UMF® mark is true to label.
Here at Comvita, we pride ourselves on our industry leading analysis laboratories. Every batch of our Manuka Honey goes through a rigorous testing process, from the moment it is collected from the hive, filtered to remove any non-honey impurities and bottled ready to ship. We bottle and label all our UMF® Manuka Honey in New Zealand.To ensure you get products that meet relevant New Zealand government standards, we are registered with New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), our honeys are available for sell within New Zealand and are eligible for export.
Before you purchase any Manuka honey, it might worth checking if they are sold within New Zealand to ensure you are getting genuine product.
No other company knows Manuka Honey like Comvita.
Many factors can affect the quality of Manuka honey - it’s natural so the sun, wind and rain all play a part. There are two Islands in New Zealand, the North and the South, the North Island is warmer and generally produces the higher grade (purer) Manuka honey.
The grading represents the purity and of Manuka, the numbers can range from UMF®5+ to 20+.
Manuka Honey is rare, it is unusual to find large pockets of UMF®20+ or numbers higher than UMF®20+.
Comvita Manuka Honey carries UMF® mark, which means all three naturally occurring signature compounds, Leptosperin, Methylglyoxal (MG) and Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) are measured, that together indicate high quality, authentic Manuka honey - while other systems measure only one or two. This process gives you a much more comprehensive and assured view of what's in your honey. Please see www.umf.org.nz for further information on the grading system and UMF quality mark. Comvita is license holder 1019.
Check the company’s website, do they sell their brand in New Zealand? If a product is not sold in New Zealand, it does not comply with local legislation.
Comvita was the largest producer under UMFHA trademark in 2018. For more information, please email to [email protected]
UMF® Manuka Honey is always at the heart of Comvita’s products, besides honey in a pot that can be enjoyed straight from the spoon, in a smoothie, Manuka recipes or in your favourite beverages; Comvita has specially formulated UMF® Manuka Honey in various products for targeted goodness.
1. Immune Support Elixirs - Comvita's Winter Wellness range of products contains UMF 10+ soothing Manuka honey and the Elixirs also contain zinc to support the immune system.* The essential ingredients are combined with Propolis and Blackcurrant, for a soothing Elixir.
2. Lozenges - Manuka honey infused lozenges to soothe throats as the Manuka Honey melts in your mouth, we have a selection of Pure UMF 10+ Lozenges that can be carried around and used in tea to Manuka Honey with Lemon and Ginger or Propolis, the perfect on the go selection. For Children we recommend Manuka Honey lollipops.
3. Natural Sweetener - UMF 5+ Manuka honey can be used in cooking for different ways of taking this everyday goodness; cakes, drizzled on breakfasts, lovely on yogurt.
4. Wound healing aids - Comvita®’s Medihoney® Wound Gel contains medical grade antibacterial Manuka honey, which has been scientifically researched and clinically proven to naturally support wound healing and reduce the risk of infection. There are over 14 years of research and safety data including over 130 case studies, laboratory studies and randomised controlled trials, supporting Medihoney® Wound Gel, which is used in hospitals and clinics around the world with outstanding results, on burns, ulcers and open wounds.
5. Derma care for dry, itchy and sensitive skin - Formulated with medical grade Manuka honey, the Medihoney® Wash, lotions and creams are fragrance free, soap free and dermatologically tested for dry, itchy and sensitive skin use.
6. Oral Spray - Combining the power of UMF®10+ Manuka honey, herbal ingredients and Propolis to numb your throat, Comvita Oral Spray is a handy helper on the go.
(*Manuka Honey Elixir with Blackcurrant, Propolis Herbal Elixir contain zinc and copper which contribute to the normal function of the immune system.)
Do you have a question about Manuka Honey? Below you'll find answers from our honey expert to the questions we get asked the most about.
Q: Is Manuka Honey Antibacterial?
A: Manuka Honey contains the 3 natural occurring chemical markers that we test for to give its powerful activity, which is why Antibacterial Wound Gel a Manuka Honey gel is used in hospitals for healing.
Q: How do I know my Manuka Honey is real?
A: There have been lots of reports about some brands not testing to what is considered Manuka Honey. New Zealand have tightened their regulations and only some definitions Manuka Honey can be sold in New Zealand stores, Comvita Manuka Honey is sold in New Zealand the home of Manuka honey.
Q: Can I take Manuka Honey during pregnancy?
A: Manuka Honey has been taken by pregnant women for many years with no reported problems as a result of its ingestion. As a food, we suggest that UMF Manuka Honey is generally considered safe to take during pregnancy. If you do have concerns, please consult your healthcare professional.
Q: Can I take Manuka Honey if I am diabetic?
A: If your healthcare professional has suggested that honey could be consumed with your condition, Comvita recommends to start with small quantities and monitor blood sugar levels. Indian Ayurvedic physicians suggest that honey serves as a valuable sugar substitute and can be consumed by diabetic subjects. Recent studies suggest that honey is tolerated by individuals with impaired glucose tolerances.
Q: Is Comvita Manuka Honey raw?
A: Honey that is left 'raw' straight from the hive contains bee pollen and parts of the bee hive or the honey comb. Comvita's honey is filtered remove these particles, to ensure you have a raw clean honey.
Q: UMF and MGO, what's the difference?
A: UMF is the standard due to the UMFHA (UMF Honey Association), a highly respected independent organisation. UMF standard does not only measure Methylglyoxal (MG), but Leptosperin and Dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
In Singapore it has been found that a company was adding MG to honey to achieve test results, it is important to check all 3 markers are presented in the Manuka.
Other measuring tools ('MG', 'Active', 'NPA') are used at the discretion of the producing company, with no third party checks in place.
The UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) is a voluntary regulatory body that can be joined by any company bottling in New Zealand, the UMFHA regularly conducts audits on all companies using the UMF trademark.
1. Arne Simon, Kirsten Traynor, Kai Santos, Gisela Blaser, Udo Bode, and Peter Molan. Medical Honey for Wound Care—Still the ‘Latest Resort’? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2009 Jun; 6(2): 165–173. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nem175
2. Cuilan Chen, Leona T. Campbell, Shona E. Blair, and Dee A. Carter. The effect of standard heat and filtration processing procedures on antimicrobial activity and hydrogen peroxide levels in honey. 2012; 3: 265. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00265
3. Manisha Deb Mandal and Shyamapada Mandal. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. 2011 Apr; 1(2): 154–160. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(11)60016-6
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