Unveiling the Mystery of Manuka Honey: Understanding its Unique Grading System

Introduction: When it comes to Manuka honey, you may have come across terms like "UMF" and "MGO" while exploring different brands. These grading systems are used to determine the quality and potency of Manuka honey. In this blog, we will delve into the grading systems of Manuka honey and shed light on what they mean, empowering you to make informed choices when purchasing this highly sought-after honey variety.

  1. UMF (Unique Manuka Factor): UMF is a grading system developed by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) in New Zealand. It measures the presence of three key compounds—Leptosperin, DHA (dihydroxyacetone), and MGO (methylglyoxal)—to assess the overall quality and authenticity of Manuka honey. The UMF rating ranges from 5+ to 20+, with higher numbers indicating a higher concentration of beneficial compounds.
  2. MGO (Methylglyoxal): MGO grading is another widely used system to determine the potency of Manuka honey. Methylglyoxal is the primary compound responsible for the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey. The MGO rating indicates the concentration of MGO in the honey, with higher numbers denoting a higher level of antibacterial activity. For example, MGO 100+ signifies that the honey contains at least 100mg/kg of MGO.
  3. Understanding the Grading System: It’s important to note that both UMF and MGO grading systems are reliable indicators of Manuka honey quality, but they measure different aspects. The UMF rating considers multiple compounds, while the MGO rating focuses solely on the concentration of MGO. The choice between UMF and MGO ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific benefits you seek.
  4. Beware of Counterfeit Manuka Honey: Due to the high demand for Manuka honey, counterfeit products have entered the market. To ensure you’re purchasing genuine Manuka honey, look for reputable brands that display the UMF or MGO rating prominently on their packaging. Additionally, the UMFHA provides a licensing program to authenticate genuine UMF-rated Manuka honey, offering further assurance of quality.

Conclusion: Understanding the grading systems of Manuka honey empowers you to make informed decisions and ensures you’re purchasing authentic, high-quality honey. Whether you choose UMF or MGO, both systems provide valuable insights into the potency and therapeutic properties of Manuka honey. With this knowledge, you can confidently incorporate Manuka honey into your wellness routine and experience the unique benefits it has to offer.