There has been some recent publicity around authenticity of Manuka honey, as we know New Zealand produces only 1,700 tons of the real Manuka honey each year, but an estimated 10,000 tons are sold around the world yearly. That’s why at Comvita, we encourage consumers to find out more before consider buying a pot of Manuka honey.
One thing which we get asked a lot at Comvita is how to tell it is genuine Manuka honey. Here is what to look for when buying genuine Manuka honey:
Genuine UMF Manuka honey is tested with 3 naturally presented unique chemical markers: Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal (MGO), not just 1 or 2. Continue reading to find out what these markers represent.
How to tell if brands have these 3 markers tested?
Simply look for the UMF Trademark, it stands for 'Unique Manuka Factor' which is the only independently recegnised quality trademark & grading system in the Manuka market, existing to protect your rights as a consumer. UMF Trademark visible on the label means that the product inside has been identified as the natural, unadulterated Manuka Honey, assuring its purity and quality; effectively meaning this is the real deal.
The 3 unique chemical markers explained
The higher UMF level the better. The UMF grade reflects the actual purity of the honey. The UMF honey is being independently tested for three key, unique markers which define Manuka honey: Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal.
One of them - Methylglyoxal, commonly known as MGO is often the only factor measured by producers, claiming MGO level on the label. Unfortunately, this has a significant downside in that MGO can be artificially added in the honey, which practically means the regular honey can easily mimic Manuka honey.
The two other unique factors also play a key role in defining pure Manuka honey:
Leptosperin Scoparium - only grown in New Zealand, not to be confused with Leptosperin varieties grown in other countries.
DHA - represents the age of the honey. At Comvita we do check how old the honey is before this is bottled.
To be exact, Leptosperin Scoparium, commonly called manuka, Manuka myrtle, New Zealand teatree, amongst others, is a species of flowering plant in the myrtle family Myrtaceae, native to New Zealand and should not be confused with Leptosperin varieties grown in other countries.
Leptosperin is a unique marker for Manuka Honey because it is present only in the flower of the Manuka plant. Thankfully there is a large presence of Leptosperin in real Manuka Honey, making the authentication tests relatively straightforward. So to be perfectly sure you are buying genuine Manuka Honey from Leptosperin Scoparium growing in New Zealand, look for the UMF trademark.
One of the many benefits of being part of the UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) and displaying the trademark means we are audited annually with independent testing. Secondly UMFHA invest heavily in research ensuring the right natural chemical markers are tested.
So once again UMF honey is tested not for one, but three unique Manuka factors, from which one of them is the most popular: MGO. So if you’re going to buy Manuka Honey, make sure it has the UMF trademark symbol otherwise you might not be getting the authentic product with all the benefits that Manuka brings.
Comvita Manuka honey is true to label, because we guarantee the honey in your jar will always reflect the UMF grade claimed on the label. We also guarantee with our purity and quality values that no artificial components are added to our honey. Comvita as been independently tested by FERA (Food and Environment Research Agency) and Minerva Scientific have consistently confirmed Comvita honey contains optimum levels.