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  • Writer's pictureDr Isaac Flitta

The Ultimate Guide to Identifying Real Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

By Dr Isaac Flitta

Manuka Flower
Manuka Flower

Manuka honey is a prized and sought-after honey variety known for its unique flavour profile and potent medicinal properties. It is produced by bees that collect nectar from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium), which is native only to New Zealand. However, due to its popularity and high demand, there are counterfeit and fake Manuka honey products in the market. As a discerning consumer, it is crucial to know how to identify real and authentic Manuka honey from New Zealand to ensure that you are getting a genuine and high-quality product. So, how can you ensure that you are buying authentic Manuka honey from a trusted source such as Happy Beekeeping Manuka honey? Here are some things to look out for:


1- First, ask to see the Look for the MGO certification:

Hill Laboratories Test samples to show case authentic manuka honey
Hill Laboratories Test samples

The Unique Manuka Factor of Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a widely recognized certification used to authenticate the quality and potency of Manuka honey. MGO develops naturally in the Manuka nectar (Leptospermum scoparium). This compound is well established as the main active ingredient identified in the manuka honey potency. It is a quantifiable measurement obtained only from the International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ) Accredited Laboratory. Genuine Manuka honey will have the MGO certification on its label, indicating that it has been independently tested and verified for its authenticity and quality, such as Hill Laboratories,

The MPI Manuka 5 Attributes Analysis (Picture opposite) requires rigorous testing and adherence to strict standards to ensure that the honey is genuine and of the highest quality. By meeting these criteria, Manuka honey is guaranteed to provide the health benefits associated with it, such as boosting the immune system and aiding in wound healing. If you want to ensure that the Manuka honey you are buying is authentic and has been thoroughly tested, choose a reputable brand such as Happy Beekeeping Manuka Honey, which is certified by the New Zealand government and meets all the necessary standards.


2- Check the honey's origin:

Authentic Manuka honey comes exclusively from New Zealand, where the Manuka tree is native. Look for clear and transparent labelling that states the honey's origin as New Zealand. Genuine Manuka honey must have been sourced and harvested from New Zealand. Before buying, ensure that the honey is labelled as "Made in New Zealand," and the brand is licensed for the use of the "Manuka Honey" label. Be wary of honey labelled as Manuka honey but do not specify its origin, as it may be a blend of honey from different countries or even counterfeit.


3- Look for a seal of authentication:

The New Zealand government's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) requires all authentic Manuka honey to have been packed in Registered Risk Management Programmes Premises with a unique identification ID; Happy Beekeeping Premises is registered under BOIHS2013, This helps to identify the honey's origin and purity.


4-Verify the beekeeper and brand:

Reputable brands such as Happy Beekeeping Manuka honey, have a loyal customer base because they provide certified and pure honey products. Check for reviews and recommendations from other discerning buyers who have used the brand's products.


5-Check for proper packaging and labelling:

Totilka Health Manuka Honey MGO1050+
Totilka Health Certified Manuka Honey MGO 880+

Authentic Manuka honey will be packaged in a sealed jar or bottle with a tamper-evident seal. The label should contain the MGO certification, the honey's origin as New Zealand, the beekeeper and brand information, and the batch number. The label should also indicate the honey's potency level based on the MGO™ grading system. Check for any inconsistencies or misspellings on the packaging or label, as these can be signs of counterfeit products.


6- Look for unique Manuka honey characteristics:

Happy Beekeeping Manuka Honey packed in jars
Happy Beekeeping Manuka Honey Packing Facility

Manuka honey has distinctive characteristics that can help identify its authenticity. It has a rich, dark amber color and a thick, viscous texture. When held up to the light, Manuka honey should appear opaque and not translucent. It has a strong, robust flavor with notes of caramel and herbs and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Manuka honey also has a unique aroma reminiscent of the Manuka tree's flowers, with hints of earthiness and medicinal notes. If the honey lacks these unique characteristics, it may not be genuine Manuka honey.


Final Thoughts

Manuka honey is an ancient remedy with a rich history of healing and antibacterial properties. Its effectiveness depends on its purity and sourcing. Counterfeit products can harm your health, but with Happy Beekeeping Manuka honey, you can be assured that your product is genuine, eco-friendly, and made with care for your well-being. By understanding these tips and following them, you will know if your Manuka honey is authentic, and you will receive honey of the highest quality.


Dr Isaac Flitta


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