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Authentic Manuka Honey - UMF and non-peroxide activity - information

16 August 2013  |  Admin

How do you know if it is genuine Manuka honey? What is UMF? What is non-peroxide activity?

All types of honey (whether manuka, acacia, clover, etc) can be 'active' to some extent from a hydrogen peroxide based activity when first taken from the beehive. Most honey types do not test for it or try to label their honey based on it. This hydrogen peroxide based activity is known to not be stable, and to naturally dissipate while stored. 

Authentic Manuka honey, which matches what the supporting research has been done on, is different and contains something extra: it has a unique, additional antibacterial factor, which is stable (i.e remains in the honey over time) and is not affected by light or moderate heat. When it was first discovered this special extra property became known as the 'Unique Manuka Factor'. This is a special 'additional', non-peroxide based activity (separate from the peroxide activity) and is what all the supporting research behind Manuka is based on.

The non-peroxide property cannot be seen or tasted - so you are totally reliant on accurate and honest labeling on the jar.

UMF® is a quality control system, operated under trademark, to help consumers get the right quality product. Only jars which correctly contain the special extra property, along with other quality criteria, are allowed to use the UMF® mark on their jars.

UMF® is more than just the measure of the non-peroxide activity (although the UMF® rating indicates the level of non-peroxide based activity). It is a total quality mark. It is the only international quality standard, with multiple laboratories around the world able to verify test results. The UMF Honey Association invests in the latest research to check against adulteration.

In purchasing a jar of UMF® certified Manuka honey you are assured of receiving the stated level of the special extra antibacterial property, the hydrogen peroxide activity is not measured and not included.

What other products are available? They are many examples of honeys labeled as 'Manuka' and 'Active' with a number. But how to you know what they have actually measured in their rating? Whilst the product may be perfectly safe to consume, some brands available simply do not contain any of the special extra antibacterial property.

For taste, buy whatever your enjoy the most. For health, if it is the special additional antibacterial property you are seeking, then a jar carrying the UMF® certification means it has correctly been measured for the level of special additional activity.

As experts in Manuka Honey, The New Zealand Honey Shop has only ever sold genuine UMF® certified jars. 

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