Arguably, one of the most popular honey varieties in the entire world, pure monofloral Mānuka honey has rightfully gained a reputation for being rich and luxurious. Nevertheless, many still ask the question? What is it, and what makes New Zealand Mānuka honey better than most other honey variations on the market?
As an introduction to the creamy and wonderful Mānuka honey phenomenon, this blog will run you down all the important facts and tips when purchasing this sweet treasure. From understanding the history to learning about the different grades - you’ll finish this article ready to explore New Zealand’s rarest honey.
Has Mānuka Honey Been Around For Many Years?
Since the dawn of Aotearoa (New Zealand), the native Māori population have used the Mānuka plant for several different purposes. However, monofloral Mānuka honey itself was not a product used by the indigenous group.
Nevertheless, the Mānuka flower and tree have had true cultural significance for the Māori people. A common ingredient for Rongoā Māori, or traditional healing, this unique flower was used for burn treatments and even the bark of the tree was frequently used. Healers would boil the bark in water and the resulting solution would be gargled like a mouthwash.
In 1839, Mary Brumby introduced the European Honey Bee to New Zealand which began the long evolution to what would eventually lead to the discovery of pure monofloral Mānuka honey. It was not until 1981 where Kiwi biochemist Peter Molan discovered the unique monofloral variety of this now-popular velvet treat.
What Makes Mānuka Honey So Special?
Mānuka honey is not your average honey and there are several reasons to back this up. Firstly, as a monofloral variety of a native flower - there is only a handful of locations in the country that can produce this raw pure goodness. Although this rare honey is only available in New Zealand, there are several more reasons that speak to how special raw Mānuka honey is.
As mentioned above, when Peter Molan discovered monofloral Mānuka honey, he very quickly learned that there were a handful of unique ingredients comprising New Zealand’s rarest honey. Since 1981, the Mānuka honey community has established four unique bioactive ingredients that tend to signify 100% pure Mānuka honey.
Theres four ingredients are:
Leptosperin (DNA marker) - measures the authenticity of Mānuka honey
Methylglyoxal (MGO) - measures the potency of Mānuka honey
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) - measures the shelf-life of Mānuka honey
Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) - measures the freshness of Mānuka honey
Why Is Some Manuka Honey More Expensive Than Others?
This question comes up quite a lot when people are first exploring the world of Mānuka honey. It may seem like there are rather large jumps but there is good reason for it. The above bioactive ingredients (particularly MGO) will typically grow exponentially as the Mānuka honey becomes more potent.
There are a few physical changes that have been noted regarding increasing strengths. Many have noted that stronger variations of Mānuka honey will be coupled with a darker colour and a more earthy taste with nutty notes. Although there is a sense of sweetness in all of them, the higher concentrations of the monofloral Mānuka brings about a very unique flavour profile.
How Do I Know I’m Purchasing Genuine Mānuka Honey?
If you are looking to purchase premium Mānuka honey, you’ll understandably be wanting a guarantee to ensure you’re purchasing a pure product. While there are few certifications for Mānuka honey purity, few are on the same par as the Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF™). While some buyers are content with just an MGO concentration, UMF™ takes into consideration all four factors for authentication.
While MGO is an excellent indicator of a genuine product, there have been known cases of artificial additions of MGO. To avoid this, a UMF™ grade will inform you that the MGO is naturally occurring due to the concentrations of DHA - the natural precursor. Furthermore, UMF™ will also indicate the presence of HMF (heat-sensitive chemical) which confirms to the buyer that no heat treatment has been implemented to try and preserve the honey.
PURITI Can Provide You With 100% Pure New Zealand Mānuka Honey
At PURITI, we provide sensational, creamy and untouched UMF™-certified Mānuka honey that exceeds all requirements to guarantee purity and potency. Each Mānuka honey product that we sell exceeds the minimum required 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.
In the realm ofgenuine Mānuka honey, this variety holds immense significance, and at PURITI, we understand its importance better than anyone. For years, raw Mānuka honey has captivated both scientists and the general public, thanks to its unique properties and limited availability, making it a highly sought-after commodity that screams nothing short of pure luxury.