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Manuka honey could lose its effectiveness

Posted by Dailymail.co.uk with additional comment by Bill Gluyas on

Manuka honey could have lost its healing powers before you get it home, scientist warns

The honey, known as ‘liquid gold’ because it costs up to £100 per jar, is sought after for antibacterial properties that come from its naturally-occurring bug-fighting chemical.

But this chemical can be destroyed by prolonged exposure to heat – such as during shipping or even sitting in shop windows – according to Professor Merilyn Manley-Harris.

The honey chemist, of Waikato University, New Zealand, warned some manuka honey sold in the UK may be wrongly labelled as stronger than it really is because it has been damaged by heat.

Expensive manuka honey may have lost its healing powers before customers even get it home

Expensive manuka honey may have lost its healing powers before customers even get it home

Professor Manley-Harris said that people should buy manuka honey (pictured above) which has been stored in a cool place

Professor Manley-Harris said that people should buy manuka honey (pictured above) which has been stored in a cool place

Popular with celebrities, manuka honey is made from the nectar of the native New Zealand manuka bush. The honey contains the chemical methylglyoxal (MGO) which has antibacterial properties. Jars carry a label detailing the honey’s strength – or how much of this chemical it contains.

But research suggests around half of honey sold as ‘manuka’ may not be genuine, and some contains less MGO than stated on the label.

Manuka honey is tested for strength before it leaves New Zealand, but Professor Manley-Harris said: ‘It’s a minimum of four to six weeks to ship, the containers are not refrigerated and the inside of a hull can get quite hot.

Once it’s in the UK, the way honey is handled in the shop could also affect it.’

The damage is caused because heat speeds up the rate at which MGO naturally diminishes. She added: ‘If you’re buying honey that has been shipped, buy one which has also been tested when it arrives.

‘Don’t buy the jar sitting in the window. Get one that’s been sitting in the cool.’

Edit by Bill Gluyas www.manukanatural.com

Professor Professor Manley-Harris is correct in stating that extended exposure to heat can affect the level of methylglyoxal retained in the manuka honey.

This is one reason that we recommend buying it online and having it sent by airmail from New Zealand to overseas countries because the temperature in an aircraft hold is very low ensuring that your expensive honey arrives in excellent condition retaining all of its special antimicrobial properties.

The second and very important reason is that we can guarantee that the Manuka UMF honey that we sell has not been adulterated by the addition of other products like sugar syrup or cheap non antibacterial honey.


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