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Certified Manuka health products shipped directly from New Zealand!
Certified Manuka health products shipped directly from New Zealand!

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9 Things you need to know BEFORE you buy Manuka honey

1. Over 80% of honey sold around the world as Manuka honey is fraudulent!

According to statistics, New Zealand produced 1700 tonnes of Manuka honey in 2014, however over 10,000 tonnes of honey were sold around the world labelled as Manuka honey. This means that at least 8300 tonnes (probably a lot more than that) was fraudulently labelled as Manuka honey. This honey may contain little or no Manuka nectar, may have been adulterated with other low cost honey or even been supplemented with corn syrup!

2. Even pure Manuka honey is not created equal. Manuka plants grow throughout New Zealand but only some chemotypes (varieties) from certain regions contain dihydroxyacetone or DHA in the nectar which the bees convert to methylglyoxal - commonly known as MGO. Methylglyoxal is the compound that gives Manuka honey the additional antimicrobial properties that are so effective in wound healing.

3. There are a range of numbers that describe Manuka honey, its purity and antimicrobial activity. Some producers use pollen count to establish the purity of the nectar source. This can be very misleading for two reasons, 1, The pollen from Manuka flowers is almost identical to the pollen from a plant relative Kanuka which has no additional antimicrobial properties, making this a flawed test. Even if the pollen count is high confirming that most of the honey is in fact sourced from Manuka flowers, it may be from a region which does not produce dihydroxyacetone or DHA, which means that this honey has no special attributes other than normal honey.

4. Labels carrying terms like TA accompanied by numbers like 15+, 20+, 25+ are not an accurate measure of the additional antimicrobial properties of Manuka honey.

Unless the numbers on the label are accompanied by the UMF© Trademark, they are simply an attempt to mislead the customer. UMF© is a strictly enforced certification which directly proportional to the methylglyoxal content of the tested honey and its antimicrobial effectiveness.

5. Only honey which has been produced, packed into pots and labelled in New Zealand by a licensed member of the Unique Manuka Honey Assocation of New Zealand can qualify for the UMF© Trademark and Certification.

Fraudulent use of this Trademark carries prosecution by the New Zealand Commerce Commission and fines of $100,000 have been applied by the courts for past convictions. However the New Zealand Commerce Commission has no jurisdiction overseas where honey is sold so in some countries, anything goes!

6. There is no such product as cheap certified Manuka UMF© honey.

Land owners, beekeepers, processors and distributors all know the value of genuine certified Manuka UMF© honey containing high levels of methylglyoxal as does the medical and cosmetic industry who are prepared to pay high premiums for it. Do not be fooled into thinking that you are getting this quality of Manuka honey at a bargain price.

7. To get an indication of the international prices of Manuka UMF© honey check Comvita’s website www.comvita.com Comvita are the largest producer of Manuka honey in the world and their prices reflect the premium applied to high certifications of genuine Manuka UMF© honey.

8. However, smaller New Zealand based stockists like Manuka Natural: www.manukanatural.com also stock the same quality and UMF© certification as Comvita and are able to sell it at a significant discount due to lower overheads. This is likely to be the best deal you can get for high quality Manuka UMF© honey.

9. Our advice is to buy Manuka UMF© honey from a smaller New Zealand based company and if you want the honey with the highest levels of antimicrobial activity, only buy honey that carries the UMF© Trademark.

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