Manuka Standards: How to Choose the Authentic Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is considered to be the best type of honey produced in the remote manuka forests of New Zealand. Aside from the sweet and sickly taste, manuka honey has umpteen medicinal properties that makes it one of the most sought-after honey brands in the world. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects in addition to being organic, raw and unpasteurised.

That’s not it! It also has several vitamins, minerals and amino acids that make it a very therapeutic agent and provides immunity boosters. The honey is obtained from the beekeepers who breed the honey bees without any addition of chemical compounds, pesticides or insecticide sprays. Which further makes it the closest version of pure honey with all it’s natural nutrients and qualities intact. 

Best Level or Grade of Manuka Honey

Manuka Honey is quality checked or graded based on a grading system called UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). This system is based on the amount of MGO (Methylglyoxal) present in the bottle. The grading can range between UMF 5+ to UMF 20+. A higher rating means higher potency, higher antibacterial activity and higher effectiveness.(2)

It is considered best to buy a version of manuka honey that is rated UMF 10+ which has potent antibacterial effects and great immunity boosters. But in general, you can also look for the one that has the three key elements and compounds that authenticate manuka honey- Leptosperin, DHA and MGO.

Also read: Manukora Manuka honey review

Ways to Check that Manuka Honey is Not Fake

Since the Manuka honey is in high demand- there have sprung up several fraudulent organizations that sell fake honey labelled as manuka. So in order for you to not get duped, we have listed below 5 easy to ensure that your manuka honey is original and authentic. 

  1. Check if the honey jar that you are purchasing was manufactured in New Zealand. New Zealand has a ban on importing honey and the manuka bush is also located there itself from where the manuka honey is processed. Furthermore, manuka honey produced in New Zealand is laboratory checked to ensure that it passes the 4 chemical and 1 DNA markings which are exclusive to the manuka bush. If you can find these five markers on the honey jar you’re purchasing, you can go ahead with it. It should have a gold stamp with text ‘Tested Certified Manuka’. 
  2. Next step to check is it has been packaged in New Zealand. If the bottle says ‘Packed in New Zealand’ then that is an indication that the honey was packaged in New Zealand and has not been tampered with or adulterated. Most times, manuka honey runs the risk of being diluted with cheaper honeys, sugar syrup and other sweeteners. This risk is more likely when the honey is packed by third party vendors outside of New Zealand.  
  3. Manuka Honey has a naturally occurring compound called Methylglyoxal (MGO) which is said to have antibacterial properties (1). An authentic jar of manuka honey contains this compound rating on the packaging. A higher rating of MGO ensures better strength. Another rule is to check for ‘Tested in New Zealand and the UK’ which means that it has been tested both in New Zealand and with an additional supplier in the UK. 
  4. Read the label carefully. Some companies design their bottles in the shape of original manuka honey bottles to dupe customers. But a thorough read of the label can ensure if the honey is real manuka or not. A real and authentic manuka honey will have the words ‘monofloral’ or ‘multifloral’. Monofloral means that the honey has been made 100% from manuka bush while ‘multifloral’ means it is a mix of manuka bush and other nectar. If it further says ‘blend’ or ‘blended’ then it means that the honey is not genuine Manuka honey and is a cheaper diluted version.
  5. Another thing that you can check for is the manuka honey traceability from ‘Hive to Home’ on a jar of manuka honey. Reputable and authentic honey sellers know the exact drums of honey that produced a certain batch of honey. So if you can find this information on the label, then you can be sure that you are buying pure, authentic manuka honey

Uses for Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is known to have several health benefits owing to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Here’s listing a few uses of Manuka honey-

  1. Helping with the strengthening of gums and teeth by killing mouth bacteria that cause decay.
  2. Helping with sinus inflammation
  3. Improving the dry eye condition by lowering the pH in the eye and reducing inflammation and bacteria.
  4. Reducing cornea inflammation after surgery.
  5. Helping to heal mild eczema.
  6. Curbing H. Pylori infections.
  7. Improves skin appearance and alleviates skin glow.
  8. The hydrating quality in manuka honey makes it one of the components in some skincare products.

P.S.- While we have listed several tested benefits of manuka honey, we would still advise you to use it after proper medical recommendations and usage guidelines.

So, what are you waiting for rush to your nearest chemist store or online shopping site to purchase this magical manuka honey and reap the benefits? 

Aqsa is a part-time home chef and a full-time gourmet who believes that discovering new flavors from various cuisines is one of the biggest joys of her life. A die-hard coffee aficionado, she is also a literature graduate who loves to document her culinary experiences to be shared with a larger audience.

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