The New Zealand Government’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has notified honey producers of new regulations for manuka honey which will come into effect later this year.
The regulations, long awaited by many in the New Zealand honey industry, specify a new definition for manuka honey, and rules for when a multifloral honey can be called a manuka blend.
The definitions are backed up by specific test thresholds that will be able to be certified by laboratory testing. There are five criteria, four of which are organic compounds naturally occurring in manuka honey, and the fifith is a DNA test requiring the presence of manuka pollen.
- ≥ 1 mg/kg 2’-methoxyacetophenone
- ≥ 1 mg/kg 2-methoxybenzoic acid
- ≥ 1 mg/kg 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid
- ≥ 400 mg/kg 3-phenyllactic acid
- DNA from manuka pollen (< Cq 36 which is approximately 3 fg/μL DNA)
The new guidelines define what is and what is not manuka honey, and do not regulate rating systems, such as the MGO and UMF ratings used to grade the potency of genuine manuka honey.