Most genuine high-grade manuka honey from New Zealand includes a UMF rating on the label. Some honey producers instead use an MG or MGO rating. …
New Zealand Manuka Honey Buyer’s Guide
To be labelled manuka honey in New Zealand, honey must meet stringent standards and guidelines. True New Zealand manuka honey will be labelled with a UMF rating (e.g. UMF 10+) or a methylglyoxal content, often abbreviated to MG or MGO (e.g. MGO 400).
The latest specification for a UMF rating certifies the honey’s content of a DHA (dihydroxyacetone), MG/MGO (methylglyoxal), and Leptosperin, which are the key chemical markers that identify genuine manuka honey as having the desirable ‘manuka goodness.’
MG/MGO ratings measure only the methylglyoxal content.
There are no other recognised rating systems for genuine New Zealand manuka honey, although there are several ‘made-up’ ratings used by honey marketing companies to disguise lower-grade honey. Avoid honey that does not specify either UMF or methylglyoxal content as it is unlikely to be genuine manuka honey.
New Zealand Government honey labelling requirements explicitly prohibit the use of the terms “Non-Peroxide Activity”, “Total Peroxide Activity”, “Peroxide Activity”, “Total Activity” and “Active” on honey labels. These requirements have been in place since early 2015. Avoid honey that shows any of these terms on its label as it would be illegal for such a honey to be produced or sold in New Zealand.
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