UMF and MGO are the two rating systems used by New Zealand honey companies to grade the premium manuka honeys.
How much honey of each grade is produced?
Mark Harvey, Managing Director of honey firm Happy Valley, estimates the proportions of manuka honey by UMF grade are as shown in the table below, based on his years of experience knowing the quantities of manuka honey made available for sale by New Zealand beekeepers.
|UMF Grade||Annual Production (tonnes, approx.)||% of Total||MGO (methylglyoxal)|
|UMF 20+||50 t||3%||829+|
|UMF 15+||200 t||12%||514+|
|UMF 10+||500 t||30%||263+|
|UMF 5+||750 t||45%||83+|
|Below 5 *||200 t||10%||Below 83|
* Includes manuka honey incorporated in manuka blends, “total activity” and “bio-active” manuka honey.
Honeys carrying ratings other than UMF or MGO, such as “Active”, “Bio-active” or “Total activity” would likely fall into the bottom one or two grades in this table if lab-tested to the rigorous UMF standards.
The highest grades of manuka honey, UMF 15+ (MGO 514+) and UMF 20+ (MGO 829+) are in high demand. Manuka honey of these grades is scarce because only a small proportion of manuka honey produced possesses those high concentrations of methylglyoxal.