There’s no ‘fake’ Mānuka honey around here
Scientific studies have proven mānuka honey’s potent antibacterial and healing qualities. Mānuka honey is highly sought after, with prices that match, which leaves the NZ mānuka honey industry open to some pretty scurrilous behaviour.
The international demand for mānuka honey has seen batches of honey adulterated with sugar, or poor-quality honey labelled as higher value mānuka honey.
In 2014, an article in The Independent pointed out that more mānuka honey was being consumed in the UK than New Zealand actually produced. Jars purporting to be New Zealand manuka were pulled from UK shelves in 2017 when it was discovered they were fake; the honey contained low levels of a chemical compound called leptosperin, a naturally occurring chemical found only in the nectar of leptospermum family to which manuka belongs. A leptosperin test is an indicator of the “manuka-ness” of honey.
Consequently, the honey industry and MPI (New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries) have been looking at ways to protect New Zealand’s reputation for honey production overseas. After years of testing MPI released a scientific definition to be used to authenticate mānuka honey to be exported from New Zealand.
To pass this new manuka test, honey must have five attributes in order to be classified as genuine New Zealand mānuka honey: four chemicals and one DNA marker, which ours of course have.
We even get an additional manuka test carried out we’re so proud of our honey. Just ask. With all the mānuka honey you buy from us we can send an authentic certificate from Analytica Laboratories.
However, not everybody seems to be aware that the MPI Mānuka Honey Definition only applies to jars of mānuka honey bound for export. It is not a requirement for the New Zealand domestic market. In addition, bulk barrels of mānuka honey can be exported and packed overseas without any obligation to meet the MPI mānuka honey requirements.
This means that dodgy companies can call their honey “genuine” mānuka when in fact it is a blend of mānuka and many other honey types. In our opinion, this is not on!
What is fake mānuka honey?
Fake doesn’t mean there’s no mānuka honey in the jar at all, it means it is a blend or the MGO levels are low. The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) shows the three indicators of genuine manuka: Methylglyoxal (MGO), Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and Leptosperin. Some sellers are suggesting honey with MGO levels as low as 30, 40, 55 and 70 are pure mānuka honey. These are blended honeys.
Below is a checklist to help you make sure the mānuka honey you buy is the real deal and what you expected to put on your morning toast.
- It’s from New Zealand
Look for honey that has been harvested, packed, and labelled in New Zealand.
- It actually rates
Some mānuka honey brands have dreamt up their own rating systems for quality, purity or potency. Very misleading! Reputable honey companies, like Manuka Corner, use UMF to measure their honey: a very robust testing method.
- It’s passed the manuka test
Check the honey has been independently tested. Our honey is tested in Zealand by Analytica Laboratories for the MPI export definition, as well as UMF and MGO ratings. Just ask.
- It gets the NZ government tick
MPI says mānuka honey for export must be tested to measure four chemical markers from nectar and a DNA marker from mānuka pollen. These markers categorise mānuka honeys into Monofloral Mānuka honey (honey made by bees foraging on mainly mānuka flowers) and Multifloral Mānuka honey (made by bees feeding on mānuka and other flowers).
- The price is right
If it’s the real deal it’ll be much more expensive than the supermarket honey you buy in the plastic see-through bear bottles. Mānuka honey that seems too cheap or is from a source that you don’t know to be reputable is probably not worth buying.
Don’t be duped by overseas companies selling fake mānuka honeys that may not comply with MPI’s new testing. Get the real deal by buying straight from the source at Manuka Corner.
The issue? Whether what you’re buying is 100% manuka honey.
The solution. Get raw manuka honey directly from credible sources, like Manuka Corner. We ship our pure raw honey all over the world.