Manuka honey is a miofloral Honey that is predominantly produced in particular regions of New Zealand. It is different from all others types of honey since the bees supply the pollen and nectar almost entirely in the blossoms of Manuka Trees Leptospermum Solarium. These trees are closely linked to the Tea Trees; and occur naturally throughout New Zealand and southeast Australia but are especially common in high densities in the drier eastern coastal area of the North Island of New Zealand. Like all other honey types, Manuka Honey demonstrates anti-bacterial properties caused by the presence of hydrogen peroxide as well as the natural acidic ph. Some batches of the honey have shown additional anti-microbial activity unique to Manuka variety; this extra trait was termed the Unique Manuka Factor.
This UMF was Manuka Honey’s claim to fame. Premium quality buy raw honey online which demonstrates this distinctive trait is deemed medicinal grade honey and has been demonstrated in labs tests to kill antibiotic resistant microbes. Not all Manuka Honey owns the particular UMF trait. A sample of every batch of the honey has to undergo rigorous lab testing to find out whether this batch demonstrates any antiseptic properties over and above those credited to the peroxide and acidic ph. Only about 10 percent of all of the batches produced are proven to be UMF active. A batch produced in a place in one season may be UMF active and a batch produced in exactly the exact same area the next year might not be UMF active. It is not clear why only a few batches in certain seasons develop the distinctive UMF activity. All batches of honey which do reveal UMF activity are termed UMF Manuka Honey or Healing Honey while those batches that do not develop any UMF actions are called regular honey. It is important to understand this distinction when buying this honey for therapeutic usage.
In an effort to standardize laboratory Testing and protect consumers from counterfeit products, the Manuka business in New Zealand formed the UMF Manuka Honey Association UMFMHA. All manufacturers of this honey need to be licensed by this association. The UMFMHA keeps samples of every batch of honey produced and performs testing on each batch by means of a third party to ascertain the UMF action in the batch. Also, the institution also sets guidelines on labelling of products that are applicable to guarantee an easy and standardized tag format. Generally, this arrangement dictates that all active manuka honey products need to have a UMF followed by a number from 1 to 20 on the tag. The number denotes the UMF action with 20 being the most active. Therefore, a honey tagged UMF 5 has less UMF action than a honey branded UMF15. As a guideline, some batches which are UMF10 or higher are considered medicinal grade honey. The criteria and compliance procedures established by the UMFMHA are in addition to the normal food safety procedures administered by the authorities of New Zealand.