UMF and MGO - what do they mean, what's the difference

What’s the difference between MGO and UMF?

These two are like yin and yang. But let’s start with MGO or Methylglyoxal (see, that’s why we shorten it to MGO). MGO is the main antibacterial compound in Mãnuka Honey. Naturally occurring, it’s the bee's knees when it comes to health benefits of the honey. The higher the MGO, the higher the potency of the honey.

So what’s UMF™? UMF (or Unique Mānuka Factor) is a rigorous test developed by the UMF Honey Association that further certifies the authenticity of Mānuka honey. It takes into account, not only MGO but also two other compounds unique to Mãnuka honey. These are Leptosperin and DHA (or dihydroxyacetone – try saying that one 5 times fast!).

And the UMF number you ask? The UMF number is based on the amount of MGO. For example, honey containing 263 mg/kg or more of MGO has a UMF number of 10+  and honey containing 829 mg/kg or more of MGO has a UMF number of 20+.

Here’s another kicker, MGO is a result of DHA plus time. So when honey is fresh it has a lot of DHA but hardly any MGO, over time that DHA converts to MGO. So the more DHA Mānuka honey has to start with the more MGO potential it has depending on how long it is aged. Ageing honey is an art and a big part making the highest quality Mānuka Honey.

Watch this space for the next blog on the art of ageing honey! Or sign up to The Hive Newsletter here and we’ll email you when we post.

Manukora UMF and MGO - what do they mean, what's the difference

Why are they important?

Put simply it’s the only reliable measure of the authenticity and quality of the Mānuka Honey. No other system is as reliable.

But we don’t stop there! We want to give you complete transparency from hive to hand, which is why every Manukora product is independently tested for authenticity, strength, non-GMO, Glyphosate free and more. We were also the first in our industry to use Trust Codes on our honey. By scanning the unique Trust Code on the lid, it will show you every detail of the jar in your hand - all the way down to the apiary it came from in New Zealand. 


Read more about our traceability here 


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