Detecting Real Māunka

Detecting Real Māunka

It’s important to get your Mānuka honey right, and we get that. So, we’ve put together a cheat sheet for detecting the real Mānuka from the fakes.

What is UMF?

UMF: Unique Mānuka Factor, a grading system for Mānuka manufacturers. UMF® rating is based upon the 3 exclusive characteristics of Mānuka honey:

  • MGO (methylglyoxal): One of the components responsible for Mānuka honey’s antibacterial activity. Mānuka honeys with suitable levels of MGO (in turn a good UMF® rating) can assist in preventing wound infections.

MGO is measured in UMF® grading system, but some companies will exclusively use MGO grading.

NPA (non-peroxide activity), which refers to antibacterial activity, is also measured in UMF.

  • Leptosperin: The higher this is, the greater the presence of other unique Mānuka properties. Referred to as the ‘mānukaness’ of the honey.

It lets us know which honey is genuine, unadulterated Mānuka (aka real Mānuka).

  • DHA (dihydroxyacetone): A precursor for MGO. High levels of DHA present more potential for the honey to increase in MGO.

Mānuka honey becomes antimicrobic when bees drop hydrogen peroxide into the honey as they synthesise the Mānuka flower pollen. Combine that with the natural acidity of honey and you have instant antibacterial qualities – giving UMF® Mānuka honey its medicinal properties. UMF® ratings prove that a Mānuka Honey is of high quality and contain these beneficial healing properties.

Testing UMF®nuka Honey:

Globally accredited, independent laboratories test our honey on all these properties and ALL 3 must be present. There are 4 tests: leptosperin test, methylglyoxal test, DHA test and HMF test (whether the honey has been heat abused or not).

Our Mānuka honeys’ study hard for each test, however some study harder than others. This is why we have different UMF® ratings: 5+, 10+, 15+, 18+, 20+. As the UMF® grading increases, as does the honey’s potency and antimicrobial properties.

Why UMF®?

UMF® grading protects consumers from buying honey that isn’t genuine. As Happy Valley is a member of the UMF® association, consumers can rest easy knowing that our products are the best quality. UMF® results show that our products are:

  • Genuine NZ Mānuka honey
  • True to label
  • Independently tested
  • Tested to have high levels of DHA and MG present - which isn’t found in other honey or even some Mānuka.  
  • Consistent with UMF® Association’s definitions of Quality and Purity.

So, why would you ever settle for less?


See also:

UMF® Association:

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