How To Tell If Honey Is Real: 3 Ways To Verify

How To Tell If Honey Is Real: 3 Ways To Verify

With the rise of "fake" honey on the market, it's crucial to know how to distinguish real honey from imitations. Here are three ways to verify the authenticity of your Manuka honey.

  • Real, unprocessed, raw honey contains many beneficial nutrients, including MGO, Leptosperin, and prebiotics in Manuka honey
  • Fake honey is often mixed with additives like glucose, dextrose, and sugar syrup, and may be heat-processed, depleting nutrients
  • You can test honey's authenticity at home using the consistency test, water test, and thumb test
  • Examining packaging for MGO or UMF ratings and QR codes can help verify authentic Manuka honey
  • Manukora honey includes a QR code with information about its authenticity, potency, origin, and beekeeper

Authentic vs Fake Honey

Authentic Honey

Fake Honey

Thick, creamy consistency

Thin, runny consistency

Holds shape in cold water

Dissolves in cold water

Stays in place on thumb

Runs down thumb

Contains beneficial nutrients

Mixed with additives, heat-processed

How can you tell if honey is real?

You can verify the authenticity of honey in three ways: 1) The consistency test: real honey should be thick and creamy, and return to this consistency after being refrigerated overnight; 2) The water test: real honey will hold its shape and sink in cold water, while fake honey will dissolve; 3) The thumb test: real honey will stay in place on your thumb, while fake honey will be thin and runny. Additionally, examining packaging for MGO or UMF ratings and QR codes can help verify authentic Manuka honey. 

Manukora honey includes a QR code with information about its authenticity, potency, origin, and beekeeper.

Executive Summary: 

  • Many beneficial compounds are found solely in Manuka honey, including MGO, Leptosperin, and others.
  • You can test your honey’s authenticity at home with the water test and the thumb test.
  • Manukora honey includes a QR code with information about its authenticity, potency, and even about its particular hive and beekeeper.

Is Your Honey “Real”?

“Verified honey” — the term sounds a little serious. Yet, with “fake” honey on the rise, it’s crucial to know the real from imitation. 

At Manukora, we hope to provide some peace of mind when it comes to where your Manuka honey comes from. 

So, let’s take a look at the three main ways you can verify that your honey is real and true Manuka honey from New Zealand.

Why Is It Important To Use Real Honey? 

Real, unprocessed, raw honey has many nutrients that offer plenty of health benefits. 

This is why honey has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, your body won't reap the same benefits from adulterated honey, especially when it comes to Manuka honey. 

Many beneficial nutrients are found solely in Manuka honey, but one in particular that yields many benefits is MGO. 

MGO stands for Methylglyoxal, an organic, antibacterial compound that comes from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree. 

Additionally, pure honey is Mother Nature's natural sweetener. It’s commonly used as an alternative to artificial sweeteners, sugars, and corn syrups.

Unfortunately, because raw honey has become such a desired alternative to processed sweeteners, some manufacturers do what they can to get as much “honey” out there as possible, which can mean the addition of preservatives and other additives. 

Not-so-real honey is commonly mixed with glucose, dextrose, molasses, added sugar, sugar syrup, and inverted sugar to boost the sweetness or make up for lower levels of real honey in the formula. 

Many types of honey also use heat in their processing, which depletes the nutrients found in real and raw honey. In other words, “fake” honey ends up being packed with tons of sugar and not many nutritious compounds — not exactly the health boost many are looking for. So, how can you tell if you have the fake or real stuff?

What Are Signs My Honey Isn't Real?

If you suspect your Manuka honey isn't 100 percent authentic, here’s how you can take a closer look and three tests to verify it.

What Manuka Should Look Like

When comparing store-bought honey to genuine Manuka honey, you should notice a significant difference. 

Manuka honey is creamy, thick, and rich in consistency. In terms of look, it should have a golden to dark color.

If your honey doesn’t fit any of the above, it might not be real Manuka honey!

If you’re still unsure, it's time to put your honey to the test. Here are three main ways to test your honey at home. 

1. The Consistency Test

The consistency test involves checking to see if your honey is thick. 

If it’s thinned out due to warm temperatures, put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, real Manuka honey will return to its original thick consistency.

2. The Water Test

The water test involves dropping a bit of honey into a cold glass of water. If your honey is genuine Manuka honey, it'll hold its shape and sink to the bottom. 

If it's not, it'll typically dissolve into the water, similar to chocolate syrup dissolving in cold milk. 

3. The Thumb Test

Real honey is thick and sticky, so when put on an uneven surface like your thumb, it should stay in one place. 

  • Apply a drop of honey onto your thumb and wait to see if it runs down your hand or stays in place. 
  • If your honey is thin and runny, chances are it isn't authentic Manuka honey. 

How Can I Verify My Honey?

While the above tricks are simple ways to test store-bought honey, we think it’s easier to start at the source and ensure you’re getting your natural honey from a trustworthy and transparent manufacturer. 

Here are a few things you can do to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting. 

Examine the Packaging

Take a second to check out your Manuka honey product's jar and packaging. 

Transparent, authentic honey companies will be happy to display the MGO or UMF potency right on the packaging. 

Ensuring the label has an MGO or UMF rating is very important. You should also watch out for other numbers that are not MGO or UMF.

Check for QR Codes

Manukora honey always has a QR code on the packaging. 

This QR code will provide heaps of information, from your honey's origin to the potency of your Manuka product — it can even show you the beekeeper responsible. 

If you decide to scan the QR code with your smartphone, this is what you'll find: 

  • Confirmation Of Authenticity 
  • The Batch Number Of The Product
  • The Harvest Region
  • The Beekeeper
  • Third-Party Batch Test Results For Mgo And Leptosperin
  • Third-Party Batch Results To Ensure It’s Glyphosate Residue-Free
  • The Potency Of The Manuka Honey In The Product

Not every Manuka honey distributor will provide a QR code with their products — in fact, we’re one of the few who do. 

At Manukora, we think that the more information that’s accessible to you, the better — let's all be honey experts. 

What Makes Manuka Honey So Special? 

All real honey offers a recognizable sweetness and gentle aroma, but not all real honey is created equally. 

Manuka honey can only come from the nectar of Manuka tea trees, which are located in New Zealand

Traditional (or multifloral) honey usually consists of nectar from multiple surrounding plants and flowers. 

In contrast, Manuka honey is made from the nectar of just one flower species, making it a monofloral honey.

Our Favorite Benefits of Manuka Honey

The nutrients in Manuka honey offer many wellness benefits compared to other types of honey.

From supporting overall well-being to boosting feelings of energy to being an indulgent experience in and of itself, Manuka can be a welcome addition to any routine. 

To start, Manuka is packed with nutrients that can support wellness, including:

  • MGO exhibits naturally antibacterial properties
  • Leptosperin has antioxidant properties to support immunity
  • Prebiotics in the form of oligosaccharides to support your gut 

Additionally, a heaping teaspoon of Manuka in the morning is a delicious ritual that provides nutrients to start your day off right.

Not to mention, it tastes delightful on peanut butter and banana toast or mixed into your morning cup of coffee or tea. 

The Bottom Line: Find a Trusted Source, and You’ll Never Have To Think Twice About Your Honey

Manuka honey has become increasingly popular over the past couple of decades. This Honey With Superpowers™ is rich in taste and quality and can be a welcome addition to any wellness routine. 

While you can use the above methods to “test” your honey at home, we suggest taking an easier route: 

  • Find a trusted source for your honey so you never have to worry about testing in the first place. 

Manukora's prominent products among our trending collections are guaranteed to help you get the best-in-class products at reasonable costs. These selections embody our commitment to transparency and quality, as we share intricate details of our honey's journey from hive to home.

Delight in new ways to enjoy Manuka honey with our savoring Manuka honey ideas, understand your daily honey intake, and learn the distinctions between regular honey and Manuka honey. 

For those seeking guidance, our how to Choose Manuka honey guide offers insightful tips, ensuring you select the best honey for your needs.

At Manukora, we believe you should be able to know as much as we do when it comes to what’s in your honey and where it comes from, which is why we make the information you want to know easily accessible on all of our packaging.

Ready to try genuine Manuka honey for yourself straight out of New Zealand’s Golden Triangle? Click here to shop for Manukora’s Manuka honey.


Why is Manuka honey unique compared to other types of honey?

Manuka honey is derived exclusively from the nectar of Manuka tea trees found in New Zealand. 

Unlike multifloral honey, which gathers nectar from various plants and flowers, Manuka is a monofloral honey, meaning it comes solely from one flower species. 

This distinction gives Manuka honey its unique properties and benefits.

Are there any side effects to consuming Manuka honey?

Manuka honey is generally safe for consumption. However, as with all products, individual reactions can vary. 

It's always advised to consult with a healthcare professional if you have allergies or are uncertain about incorporating new products into your diet.

Is there a specific way to store Manuka honey to retain its benefits?

It's recommended to store Manuka honey in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. 

Like most honey, it doesn't require refrigeration, but keeping it at a consistent temperature can help preserve its properties and consistency.

How often should I consume Manuka honey for optimal benefits?

While Manuka honey can be enjoyed daily, the optimal amount and frequency depend on individual preferences and the desired benefits. 

For general wellness, a teaspoon daily can be a good starting point. If uncertain, it's best to consult with a nutritionist or healthcare provider. 


5 Benefits of Manuka Honey | Cleveland Clinic

The effects of Manuka honey on plaque and gingivitis: a pilot study | PMC

Monofloral Honeys as a Potential Source of Natural Antioxidants, Minerals and Medicine | PMC

Previous Article Next Article

Shop Mānuka Honey

High-potency, MGO rated Mānuka honey
from remote regions of New Zealand.

MGO 850+



Daily Digestive Support

Shop Now

MGO 600+



Daily Immunity Support

Shop Now

MGO 200+



Daily Wellness and Vitality

Shop Now

MGO 1000+



Comprehensive Support

Shop Now