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How to identify genuine Manuka honey

Posted by Bill Gluyas on

With a marketplace filled with a wide array of honey described on the label as Manuka honey, how can the consumer tell if it is genuine or if it has been adulterated with other honey or even sugar syrup?

The simple answer is that unless it can be subjected to a High-performance liquid chromatography(HPLC) test it is almost impossible to tell the difference.

Huge levels of Manuka honey fraud has resulted, as unscrupulous dealers attempt to profit from the high prices being paid for the genuine article by medical and pharmaceutical industries.

This has led the New Zealand Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) to research compounds that are unique to high quality Manuka honey and to license members and their products for retail sale.

A protocol has now been developed and 4 tests are now established to determine the authenticity of genuine Manuka honey with additional antimicrobial activity.

In UK Fera are the testing authority who test samples from selected stores to ensure that the products they are selling labelled as Manuka honey are genuine. A recent sampling reportedly led Fortnum and Mason to withdraw all Manuka honey from their shelves.

To carry the UMF trademark Manuka honey must be certified by an independent testing laboratory, packed into pots in New Zealand by a licensed member of the New Zealand Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, and labelled in NZ.

Therefore the most assured way of buying genuine Manuka UMF honey is to buy it on-line from a New Zealand based website.

​10 Things you need to know BEFORE you buy Manuka honey

1. Over 80% of honey sold around the world as Manuka honey is fraudulently labelled!According to NZ Ministry of Primary Industries statistics, New Zealand produced 1700 tonnes of Manuka honey in 2014, however statistics also show that over 10,000 tonnes of honey were sold around the world labelled as Manuka honey. This means that at least 8300 tonnes (and probably [...]

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