In an exciting announcement, the UMF Honey Association (UMFHA) says that the latest advances in science mean it is now possible to definitively identify genuine Manuka Honey.
“This is an important development for our industry, in terms of being able to differentiate Manuka Honey from other floral type honeys,” says James Jeffery, co-owner and director of SummerGlow Apiaries in Te Kowhai, Hamilton.
SummerGlow Apiaries along with the Association’s members had been driving rapid advances in the application of science using high resolution mass spectrometry to the point where products claiming to contain genuine Manuka Honey can be readily authenticated.
“This will provide real assurance and long-term confidence amongst our SummerGlow Apiaries consumers and regulatory authorities in markets where Manuka Honey is sold,” comments James.
The new research allows the industry to understand in a much more comprehensive way the complex array of signature compounds that make Manuka Honey the unique product it is.
“It also offers the ability to distinguish and spot genuine Manuka Honey from the false products currently being sold,” adds James.
The new web-based analytical model is the newest industry innovation to be introduced by the UMFHA, following last year’s announcement at a Primary Production Select Committee of the discovery of the novel compound – Leptosperin – found in Manuka Honey.
Leptosperin is one of a number of key signature compounds found in Manuka Honey. It is relatively stable and cannot be easily synthesised. Leptosperin also fluoresces, which led to a New Zealand-based consortium developing a prototype portable fluorescence testing unit last year.
“We always advise that consumers should always check to see that products are carrying the UMF® quality mark, as a way of ensuring that they are buying genuine Manuka Honey,” adds James.