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Authentic Manuka Honey?


There has been some publicity around the authenticity of Manuka honey, It is thought that New Zealand only produces 1,700 tons of genuine Manuka Honey each year, however, it is estimated that 10,000 tons are sold world wide yearly, according to the Daily Mail. One of the most common questions we get asked here at Comvita, is how to tell if something is genuine Manuka Honey. Here are a few tips on what to look for when trying to buy true Manuka Honey;

  • Can the Manuka honey be purchased in New Zealand, check the brands website and see if they sell the honey in New Zealand.
  • Genuine UMF Manuka honey is tested with 3 naturally presented unique chemical markers: Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal (MGO). Not just 1 or 2.


Comvita Manuka honey is UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) trademarked. UMF was established by the Unique Manuka Factor Association (UMFHA) to highlight and differentiate genuine Manuka honey. UMFHA test for the three key chemical markers (Leprospersin, DHA and Methylglyoxal) that are unique signature compounds to Manuka honey to ensure the purity and quality of the honey. 

One of the many great things about being UMF trademarked and part of UMFHA is that we are annually audited and tested by an independent laboratory to verify that Comvita Manuka honey is true to label. 

The three unique chemical markers

All three unique chemical markers will be presented in genuine Manuka honey. 

Methylglyoxal, commonly known as MGO is often the only marker measured by producers which state a MGO level on the label. Unfortunately, it is possible to artificially add MGO to honey. This means that by only testing for MGO, a regular honey can have MGO artificially added an then be sold as Manuka honey with a MGO level. 

DHA, represents the age of the honey. At Comvita we check how old the honey is before this is bottled. 

Leptosperin is an important unique marker in Manuka honey because it is only found in the flower of the Manuka Plant.  

Leptospermum Scoparium, commonly known as Manuka, Manuka Myrtle, and New Zealand teatree is a species of flowering plant in the Myrtle family; Myrtaceae. This is native only to New Zealand and should not be confused with Leptospermum varieties grown in other countries. 

Thankfully the authentication test on Leptosperin is relatively straightforward because it has a large presence in genuine Manuka honey.

To be sure that you’re buying genuine Manuka honey from the New Zealand Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka Plant), look for the UMF trademark. This way you can be certain that the honey has been tested not just for one, but all three unique Manuka chemical markers and independently verified.

Comvita Manuka honey is true to label, we guarantee that when you buy from us, the honey in the jar reflects the UMF grade stated on the label. We also guarantee that no artificial ingredients are added to our honey. Comvita is independently tested by FERA (Food and Environment Research Agency) and Minerva Scientific to confirm that Comvita Manuka honey meets the optimum levels.

This is our promise to you.