What is so special about Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey, often referred to as a 'miracle of nature' is extremely rare and like no other honey in the world. Manuka honey is known for being earthier, richer and thicker than other honeys.
Manuka Honey is native to New Zealand and comes from the nectar of the Leptospermum scoparium flower, also known as the Manuka flower. The Manuka flower, which Manuka honey comes from, is only found in specific microclimates in its native New Zealand, often in the most isolated hills and forests.
This flower has a short bloom window and is very sensitive to changes in weather, climate and pollution. The more further away the Manuka plant is from human contact, the better the quality of the Manuka Flower and subsequently, the Manuka Honey. This makes collecting the Manuka Honey extremely difficult, with helicopters needing to be deployed in extreme cases to collect the honey.
In addition to this, the Manuka Flower has a very short flowering window giving the bees as little as 12 days to collect the nectar of the Manuka Flower, equating to the Manuka Honey yield for the whole year. One single jar of honey can represent 22,700 bee trips to the Manuka Flower.
Furthermore, 'monofloral' Manuka Honey shows the highest concentration of Manuka Honey's unique wellness properties and is created when bees choose to solely pollinate the Manuka Flower. If the Manuka Flower is one of many blooms pollinated, the honey is then 'Multi-Floral' which shows a much lower concentration of Manuka Honey's unique wellness properties.
The process to make genuine Manuka Honey is extremely complicated, making it unlike any other honey found in the world. This is why it is one of New Zealand's most cherished products.
What is the UMF+ Factor?
Manuka Honey is a premium, high-value export product for New Zealand which means that everyone wants to label their honey as Manuka honey, even if it does not meet the quality and authenticity requirements to use that title.
A study from the Honey Research Unit in New Zealand showed that Manuka Honey was the only honey that kept its ability to kill bacteria once hydrogen peroxide was removed from a range of honeys. The reason for this was able to be pinpointed to the presence of a unique ingredient, methylglyoxal, which has specific antimicrobial properties.
The UMF grading system or ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ is the only independently verified rating system that measures for all three of Manuka Honey’s unique chemical markers (Leptosperin, Methylglyoxal and DHA) and guarantees minimum levels of activity in each jar as well as certification that the honey is produced, packed and labelled in New Zealand. For this reason it is regarded as the authoritative voice when it comes to Manuka Honey. All of our Manuka Honey is verified and certified by the UMF association.
There are several UMF grades. A UMF 5+ is a low grade, UMF 10+ is a medium grade and UMF 15+ is a high grade. Anything above 20+ is some of the best quality Manuka Honey you will find in the world and exceptionally rare.
The UMF grading system is often misunderstood. The rating numbers are not proportional to the grading system so UMF 20+ does not have 4x the amount of Methylglyoxal as a UMF 5+ Honey as you would logically deduce, but over 10x so buying 4 UMF 5+ will not give you the equivalent health benefits of buying one UMF 20+.
For more information please go to www.umf.org.nz
Unique Mānuka Factor
A certified licensee of the UMF quality trademark