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Actual 2012 Test Results Of Manuka Honey

21 September 2012  |  Admin

It is important to reiterate that the benefits of manuka honey and the supporting research behind it are based on the existence of a unique additional property that only some manuka contains. This non-peroxide activity provides special attributes over and above the hydrogen peroxide activity that is common to all honeys.

Therefore it becomes interesting to see what the actual test results show in terms of the natural availability of this honey across the possible potency strengths.

Note that both the international UMF® quality standard and published scientific research use only the level of non-peroxide activity as their measure of strength (and do not add together the peroxide activity as well).

When seeing mention of a 'certified' test result, it is always pertinent to know just what that test is measuring.

The below graph summarises the test results across the manuka honey industry. It is based on testing done by the two main independent testing laboratories in New Zealand, and includes honey from both producers who are part of the UMF® quality system and producers who are not.

For the period of 1 June 2011 to 31 May 2012:

6057 samples were tested, of which 4705 met the minimum potency requirement for bearing the UMF® trademark (non-peroxide only activity greater than 5).

Of the 4705 samples which can be said to contain UMF® Equivalent Activity (non-peroxide activity):

2860 samples(60.8%) were between 5 and 9 UMF® Equivalent

1181 samples (25.1%) were between 10 and 14 UMF® Equivalent

556 samples (11.8%) were between 15 and 19 UMF® Equivalent

100 samples (2.1%) were between 20 and 24 UMF® Equivalent

8 samples (0.2%) were above 25 UMF® Equivalent


It becomes quickly apparent why the suppliers who choose to use the UMF® quality mark have very limited or no supply of the higher strength manuka honey.

So how do some brands have ready stocks of product labeled as '20+' or '25+' or higher? Have they somehow managed to secure the entire harvest of the highest strengths of honey? Or does it come back to just what is being tested for and how they are choosing to measure their honey?

At The New Zealand Honey Shop we have been supplying manuka honey and answering customer's questions for many years. We know that people have become interested in this honey after reading about or hearing of the research that has been done (and continues to be done) into the unique properties that some manuka honey can contain, and will be taking it to address an issue. So we know it is your expectation to obtain honey which matches that same quality.

It is our firm belief (and always has been) that the best and most appropriate way to match our customer's expectations is to stock honey that meets the full UMF® quality mark standards. Thus, for ourselves, we will simply say 'sorry we are out of stock' when we are unable to obtain more stock from our trusted brands.



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