By Tristan Hooker/MediaPA
SummerGlow Apiaries of Te Kowhai, Waikato, is applauding new scientific research by the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA).
The Mānuka ID Project, undertaken by the UMFHA, has established a system to identify genuine, unadulterated Mānuka honey, by testing for compounds found exclusively in Mānuka Honey.
Mānuka honey can now only carry the UMF quality mark once it has been tested for these compounds.
James Jeffery, co-owner of SummerGlow Apiaries, says four key marker compounds were identified by the Mānuka ID Project, during five years of research.
Two existing compounds, Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and Methylglyoxal (MG), have been in use for a while in Mānuka honey identification. The Mānuka ID Project identified two additional compounds, Leptosperin and Lepteradine.
“The two new compounds are a lot more reliable than solely using MG or DHA,” says Mr Jeffery. “Leptosperin and Lepteradine are completely stable. There’s nothing you can do to change the level of those compounds in the honey, whether you heat it or add other mixtures to try to mimic those two compounds. It’s a scientifically robust identification system.”
Mr Jeffery says supplier integrity and customer assurance are paramount in an industry which is often targeted by imposters. As longstanding members of the UMFHA, SummerGlow Apiaries have continually supported the research and development of scientific techniques for testing Mānuka Honey, to ensure their consumers always get a genuine product.
“We have always used the UMF grading system and we fully support it,” says Mr Jeffery.
“The more robust the science behind the grading system, the more robust assurances we can give our customers.
“All the honey produced at SummerGlow is real, genuine Mānuka honey. Our honey passes the tests showing it is absolutely genuine Mānuka honey.”