New Zealand Manuka UMF Honey Guide
New Zealand Manuka UMF honey is currently one of the most highly coveted floral honey. It is world-renowned for the unique antimicrobial properties that it possesses. The medical profession all over the world now accepts sterilized medical grade Manuka UMF honey as the most efficient form of treatment for certain kinds of antibiotic-resistant infections. Studies have also shown that compared with other types of topical anti-microbial agents, that it penetrates into the epidermis deeper.
Manuka honey is unique given that antimicrobial compounds are found in it that are not contained in any other types of floral honey. Its uniqueness has led to a testing regime being developed for certifying the concentration of the compounds that are referred to as unique manuka factor (UMF).
This all started during the late 1980’s when a selection of floral honey began to be tested by Professor Peter Molan in his lab at the New Zealand’s University of Waikato. He discovered that there were incredible antimicrobial properties contained within the honey derived from the plant species Manuka.
Professor Molan demonstrated that although the enzyme glucose oxidase was contained in all honey, which has its antimicrobial effect when hydrogen peroxide is released by the glucose oxidase when body serum is present, that Manuka honey still contained potent antibacterial properties after removing the glucose oxidase.
The factor came to be called non-peroxide activity (NPA) and was later described as unique manuka factor (UMF).
It had taken many years before scientists at the Germany’s University of Dresden identified the compound called methylglyoxal as being responsible for the unique antimicrobial factor.
Although it was known that the nectar from honey produced by the Manuka species contained methylglyoxal, scientists also discovered that the concentration of methylglyoxal varied widely in Manuka honey samples, by the density of Mauka plants within an individual location as well as by seasons and different regions.
Therefore a system of certification and measurement needed to be developed so that Manuka honey’s antimicrobial effectiveness could be quantified.
Initially, before methylglyoxal was identified as the compound that was responsible for the non-peroxide antimicrobial effectiveness, there was a system developed called unique manuka factor (UMF) for measuring this honey’s antimicrobial effect.
This method was used for comparing individual honey samples in a bacterial culture containing a Phenol concentration (carbolic acid), which is an antiseptic that is commonly used within the medical industry.
By comparing Manuka honey samples’ antibacterial effectiveness against a known Phenol concentration, it was possible to provide Manuka honey with a classification guaranteeing its effectiveness. For instance a Manuka honey sample with the same antimicrobial effect that a 15% Phenol concentration had was certified as UMF 15+.
Today, certification and testing of the UMF level in Manuka honey relate to the honey sample’s methylglyoxal level. This test is very sophisticated and also can be used for identifying rogue Manuka honey offered by dishonest vendors making claims that are unsubstantiated for how active their Manuka honey is.
After methylglyoxal had been designated as the primary compound contributing to Manuka honey’s antimicrobial level, there were still questions about what the source of methylglyoxal is since it isn’t present in Manuka flower nectar.
More research was conducted and then in 2009 University of Waikato scientists (Peter Molan, Merilyn Manley-Harris, and Christopher Adams) published research showing that the methylglyoxal contained in New Zealand manuka honey comes from a chemical compound called dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
Whenever bees freshly produce Manuka honey, it contains low levels of methylglyoxal and high levels of dihydroxyacetone. This reverses gradually as naturally occurring amino acids, and proteins convert dihydroxyacetone into methylglyoxal slowly.
It is amazing what a simple honey bee is accomplished of!
The public is unfortunately still faced with various confusing measurements of Manuka honey’s efficacy. Although we prefer the UMF classification, which is time-tested and proven, others use terms that describe the methylglyoxal (MGO) content of their honey in mg/kg.
That as beautiful if people understand what the correlation is between MGO and UMF. Unfortunately, there are some vendors that overstate the MGO when it comes to UMF effectiveness. For example, stating that MGO 400 is equivalent to the older UMF 20+. However, that is not true. According to the Analytica Laboratories website, MGO 400 is equivalent to approximately UMF 14+. For MGO to reach an equivalent UMF 20+ antimicrobial level, it would need to be tested at MGO 800 mg/kg or above.
Other vendors have just added entirely fictitious numbers onto their labels like 20+, 15+, etc. without including the UMF license number of the UMF trademark on their labels.
It is reported that more honey is sold in just the UK as Manuka honey than is produced in the entire country of New Zealand, and it isn’t produced anywhere in the world except New Zealand.
So we recommend that you be extremely selective when it comes to where you purchase your Manuka honey from. Make certain that it has been both produced and packaged in New Zealand, that it includes the producer’s license on the label and also contains the UMF trademark.
Pure Manuka UMF honey is an incredible product. The medical value of Manuka UMF honey comes from the bactericidal and bacteriostatic compounds contained in it, like hydrogen peroxide, its high methylglyoxal level that is expressed in UMF terms, along with the bee peptides, flavonoids, phenolic acids, polyphenols, lysozyme, and antioxidants, which are all essential to good health.
Manuka UMF honey definitely can be considered to be a superfood. It is also among the best natural supplements that are currently available in the entire world.
Manuka Natural stocks an array of UMF certified honey that ranges from:
Manuka Honey UMF 20+
Manuka Honey UMF 15+
Manuka Honey UMF 10+
Manuka Honey UMF 5+
UMF is a registered trademark belonging to the New Zealand Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association. Manukora Honey is Registered and uses UMF Coding
There is no GMO contained in Manuka UMF honey, making it a pure honey. Also, there are no preservatives, colors, flavors or additives included and it isn’t heated.
The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these reviews and statements. The intention of this product is not to prevent, cure, treat or diagnose any disease.