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Manuka honey test approved by NZ Government

The new test of true Manuka honey in association with the NZ Government Ministry of Primary Industries is a great start, but the problem of fake Manuka honey in International markets lies with the export of bulk Manuka honey.

It is ridiculous that this practice is allowed, can you imagine champagne from France being exported in bulk for other countries to bottle and label as French Champagne, of course not and there are many other examples like this where the authenticity of the product and country of origin must be protected.

If the maximum package that was allowed for the export of authenticated and certified Manuka honey was say, 1 kg, there would be little point in emptying 1 kg packs to blend with other cheap honey. However at present Manuka honey is able to be exported in bulk in 200 litre (44 gallon) drums which makes it so easy for it to be blended with other honey, or corn syrup and repackaged in to small containers and labelled as Manuka honey.


The new test that has been developed by the NZ MPI in conjunction with the Manuka UMF Association of honey producers identifies 4 distinctive compounds that must be present in Manuka honey in minimum quantitiies, plus a DNA test of the pollen which in combination can only be present in genuine Manuka honey from New Zealand.


In Britain the company Fera now has this testing equipment and in conjunction with British food safety authorities is gradually sampling honey labeled as Manuka honey in UK stores.
Already the British grocer Fortnum and Mason have reportedly withdrawn all Manuka honey from their shelves pending further inquiry and testing.


There is no doubt that Fortnum and Mason will be asking some very serious questions of their supplier or wholesaler.
At this stage we do not know who can authenticate Manuka honey in USA or Canada, but once there is, there will definitely be certain brands no longer associated with Manuka honey.


In the meantime buyers of authentic certified Manuka UMF honey will be best served by buying on-line from a respected New Zealand based website.

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