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  • Are Higher Grades Of UMF™ Mānuka Honey Rarer?

    June 13, 2023 7 min read

    Are Higher Grades Of UMF™ Mānuka Honey Rarer? - PURITI

    Now a household name, pure Mānuka honey has gained a reputation of being one of (if not) the best honey varieties in the world. There are many ways someone can enjoy this golden gift from nature; our customers use it for food, skincare and winter wellness. PURITI’s monofloral Mānuka honey is the perfect addition to your pantry as it has many versatile uses, such as: 


    • Natural sugar alternative for tea or coffee
    • Moisturising skin mask 
    • Sore throat soothing agent
    • A gourmet secret ingredient for cooking

    While there are so many uses for this delicious luxurious treat, you might have noticed there is a unique insignia on PURITI’s products. The Unique Mānuka Factor or UMF™ symbol is found throughout all of our products, and some have higher grades than others. Why exactly? There are many reasons why this number may be higher in certain products, and this is why a comprehensive blog is required to explore the ins and outs. 


    Let’s find out what determines the higher grades of UMF™!



    MĀNUKA HONEY

     

    FIRSTLY, HOW IS MĀNUKA HONEY DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR HONEY?


    You could write an entire blog on this question alone; in fact, we have! The most obvious difference between the two honey varieties is that PURITI’s premium Mānuka honey is monofloral, while other conventional honey is typically multifloral. Please read “What's So Special About PURITI's Manuka Honey?” to learn more about why PURITI’s honey is so unique. 


    Monofloral honey refers to any honey that is derived or produced from one species of nectar (originating from one kind of flower). For example, with PURITI, all of our honey is produced solely from the New Zealand native Mānuka flower. Multifloral honey could come from many different flower species, which is why it’s commonly referred to as “wild honey”. For more information on this, please read “Why Should I Buy Monofloral Mānuka Honey Over Multifloral?


    Additionally, we pride ourselves on providing untouched, unadulterated and raw Mānuka honey for our customers. From hive to the jar, there is minimal to no touching or processing of this honey to ensure that the purity of our honey is maintained until our customers open our specialised jars. 


    Furthermore, PURITI’s Mānuka honey contains high levels of methylglyoxal (MGO). Our products contain a range of MGO concentrations, depending on the potency of the honey you select. MGO is a unique biochemical compound that has been found at higher concentrations within Mānuka honey. This unique ingredient has been sought-after throughout the world for many years now, and interest is only continuing to grow. 


    For more information on this topic, please visit - “What’s So Special About PURITI’s Mānuka Honey?”

     

    WHAT IS METHYLGLYOXAL (MGO)?


    MGO is actually found in all varieties of honey but is shown to be far more prevalent in monofloral Mānuka honey. There have been some academic studies that report higher concentrations in Mānuka honey due to the higher concentration of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is also the biochemical precursor of MGO. There has been growing interest in pure Mānuka honey, particularly with the ultra-premium Mānuka honey variations. 


    Many people in the world look for MGO alone. Certain customers are happy knowing that they have purchased Mānuka honey with high concentrations of MGO; however, we always advise you to look for the UMF™ insignia before buying, as UMF™ also has several other guaranteed concentrations that are of interest. Like what, exactly? As one of the other key drives of UMF™ certification, you must first certify the Mānuka DNA to ensure authenticity. 


     

    WHAT IS LEPTOSPERIN?


    As the gold standard of Mānuka honey authentication, leptosperin is a unique biochemical that serves as the Mānuka DNA marker. Exclusively present in Mānuka flower nectar, the presence of this chemical confirms that a Mānuka honey jar is authentic. For monofloral Mānuka honey to be certified, leptosperin must be present at a minimum concentration of 3 fg/µL


    The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries has strict guidelines on what can and can’t be classified as Mānuka honey. One of the five criteria for certifying is the minimum concentrations of this native biochemical. 


    For more information, please read - “How Can I Be Sure I'm Buying Real Mānuka Honey?



    UNIQUE MĀNUKA HONEY FACTOR (UMF™)


    WHAT IS THE UNIQUE MĀNUKA FACTOR? 


    The Unique Mānuka Factor or UMF™ is an authentication method for monofloral Mānuka honey that is widely considered to be the gold standard of the industry. Known around the world for their iconic symbol on Mānuka honey jars, UMF™ grades monofloral Mānuka honey from UMF™ 5+ to UMF™ 31+. This method of certification is respected among Mānuka honey lovers due to its four-factor authentication system


    The following factors or biochemicals are considered for this ranking: 


    1. Leptosperin
    2. Methylglyoxal 
    3. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)
    4. Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) - a heat-sensitive chemical indicating freshness

    For more information on what UMF™ is, please read - “What Is UMF™ Mānuka Honey, And Why Should I Care?



    WHAT MAKES UMF™ BETTER THAN OTHER GRADING SYSTEMS?


    UMF™ is widely considered to be the most accurate certification system for pure monofloral Mānuka honey. Why is this? Unlike most other grading systems currently operating, only UMF™ takes into account four different factors for verification, whereas many only look at one or two. The markers considered by UMF™ are chosen for their direct relevance to the main factors of interest: 


    • Authenticity 
    • Potency 
    • Shelf life
    • Freshness

    As a result, there is an unmatched reliability with UMF™. UMF™ does not just hand out certifications to everyone who applies; there are exceedingly rigorous tests that must be carried out to ensure that these Mānuka honey products are legitimate. With regular audits undertaken with companies who seek UMF™ approval, buyers can be certain that any Mānuka honey seller willing to go to these lengths will be providing the real deal.


    WHAT IS THE HIGHEST UMF™ GRADE? 


    PURITI’s highest UMF™ Mānuka honey product is the UMF™ 31+ Grand Cru Mānuka Honey. While this is the most potent variation we offer, your intention for buying PURITI’s Mānuka honey may determine the UMF™ level that you require. For example, if you’re just looking for a natural energy boost or sugar alternative, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy all the benefits with a UMF™ 5+ or UMF™10+ Mānuka Honey


    Additionally, you may be a customer seeking a natural humectant or moisturising agent for your skin. Look no further than UMF™ 15+ Mānuka Honey which provides a potent raw dewy treat for your face. Applying this honey at night has been suggested to increase moisture content within the skin, potentially adding to your overall dewy glow.


    Whatever the reason for your interest or love for Mānuka honey, there is a variety for everyone. You may be starting new, or you may be a seasoned connoisseur who is looking for the best honey in the world. Make sure to shop with PURITI to discover your favourite! 



    PURITI’S STANDARDS


    IS PURITI’S HONEY UMF™ CERTIFIED? 


    All of PURITI’s 100% pure New Zealand Mānuka honey is UMF™-certified. Rest assured that every product you purchase from us will be, at minimum, certified with UMF™ 5+ Mānuka honey. As a premium provider of pure Mānuka honey, we also have ultra-premium variations that showcase the peak of refined Mānuka honey luxury. 


    The unique UMF™ trademark is a Quality Mark certification that is internationally recognised. After rigorous independent testing and auditing conducted by independent accredited laboratories (IANZ-certified), this golden stamp of approval will give you the confidence that you’re purchasing 100% pure New Zealand Mānuka honey. 


    The UMF™ grade is primarily based on the concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO). In addition, the chemical leptosperin is also present for validating genuine Mānuka honey DNA. Unlike other Mānuka honey, the UMF™ certification tests key DNA markers from the honey to determine the single-origin source as well as potency. 



    IS PURITI MĀNUKA HONEY TRULE CERTIFIED BY THE NZ GOVERNMENT?


    To achieve this reputation of gold-standard Mānuka honey, we also ensure that each of our UMF™-certified products showcases a Made in New Zealand FernMark sticker. This insignia is selectively awarded to items that are sourced, produced, and packaged in New Zealand. Awarded by the MPI, all Mānuka honey must meet the rigid criteria of the Mānuka honey science definition. The test for monofloral Mānuka honey requires one DNA and four chemical attributes. If the honey fails to meet just one of the attributes, it is not monofloral Mānuka honey.


    In addition to the FernMark, PURITI is also proud to be validated through the Risk Management Programme (RMP). Also, a certification supplied by MPI, RMP is a food production facility that is run by the New Zealand government to ensure consistent quality of products for our customers. Finally, we also exist as one of the few New Zealand honey companies that are SQF-certified. This internationally recognised benchmark for food quality standards is a compulsory requirement when supplying global food retailers. We ensure that our honey is not just exceptional for New Zealand but also for the world.


    WHAT MAKES PURITI BETTER THAN OTHER MĀNUKA HONEY BRANDS


    PURITI is not just pure by name; we have an operation and reputation to back it up. One of the unique aspects of PURITI that separates us from competing brands is our minimum MGO concentration for our UMF™-certified Mānuka honey products. We ensure that this minimum MGO concentration is higher than what UMF™ certification and other major competing brands require.



    The higher the MGO concentration in the honey, the stronger its potency. We pride ourselves on offering higher minimum MGO concentrations compared to competing brands - for a majority of our products. For example, PURITI's minimum MGO concentration for UMF™ 15+ certification is 550+mg/kg, which is higher than other brands in the market, whose minimum MGO concentration for UMF™ certification only asks for 514mg/kg.

     

    PURITI Can Provide You With 100% Pure New Zealand Mānuka Honey


    At PURITI, we produce sensational, creamy and untouched UMF™-certified Mānuka honey that exceeds all requirements to guarantee purity and potency. Each Mānuka honey product we sell exceeds the minimum leptosperin and MGO concentrations set by UMF™HA. As a result, consumers can buy from PURITI confidently, knowing that we are only selling 100% genuine New Zealand Mānuka honey.

    The unique UMF™ trademark is a Quality Mark certification that is internationally recognised. After rigorous independent testing and auditing conducted by independent accredited laboratories (IANZ- , this certification ensures that you’re buying the highest quality New Zealand Mānuka honey.


    Buy our Mānuka honey online for all your wellness needs.

     

    REFERENCES:

    https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1038/s41598-020-70186-9.pdf

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12058


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