- Manuka honey is a monofloral honey derived from the Manuka tea tree in New Zealand. It only has a six-week harvest window each year.
- One key differentiating trait of Manuka honey is its wealth of nutrients, which includes MGO, prebiotics, and antioxidants.
- Manuka’s second key differentiating trait is its unique, indulgent sensory experience, which offers both a complex flavor profile and a rich, creamy texture.
Manuka Honey vs Regular Honey: What’s the Difference?
If you’re a lover of nature's nectar, then we’re sure you’d agree that all honey is inherently delicious. While most raw honey has unique healing powers, Manuka honey can offer just a little more thanks to its high nutrient potency.
Manuka honey is unlike any other type of honey, primarily in terms of its associated nutritional benefits paired with the sheer sensory experience that comes with it. Its unique aroma, creamy consistency, and rich texture make for a downright delicious indulgence.
Thanks to its various naturally occurring nutrients, it also offers a collection of benefits to your overall health and well-being.
On top of picking your choice of honey based on flavor, use, and benefits, we believe it’s also worth considering if your honey has been produced ethically. Honey bees play a significant role in our ecosystem, so happy, healthier bees not only make for better honey but a better planet.
Manuka honey has gained much attention recently, so we understand if you’re curious about it. In this article, we break down the components of Manuka honey and explain how this native New Zealand nectar differs from regular honey.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Anyone can say their honey has healing powers, but the nutrients in Manuka honey are distinctive to the nectar of the Manuka tea tree, only grown in remote regions in New Zealand, and are what truly make it a super honey.
In particular, Manukora’s Manuka honey is produced in “The Golden Triangle” of New Zealand, which is famous for the highest potency of Manuka honey.
Our honey undergoes an authentication and testing process to ensure all of the beneficial flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other beneficial nutrients are present in each batch before arriving at your doorstep.
What Makes Manuka Honey Rare?
High-quality Manuka honey is extremely rare as it’s only produced in New Zealand, with a harvest season of less than six weeks per year.
The Manuka tea tree has very small flowers, which elongates the nectar-collecting process for the bees. With such a short time frame to collect this precious nectar, you can already tell why Manuka honey is one of the rarest types of honey around.
Unfortunately, there are also many unauthentic types of Manuka honey on the market. For honey to be considered genuine Manuka honey, it must undergo a rigorous testing process that ensures all of the necessary components are accounted for.
These highly renowned nutrients include:
- MGO (Methylglyoxal)
- Other flavonoids and phenolic acids
In addition to the unique compounds of the Manuka tea tree, Manuka honey also offers a unique sensory experience that no other honey (and no other natural ingredient) can truly provide.
Manuka Tastes Like No Other Honey
Manuka is often explained as dark and rich with a caramel-like texture. Its deep flavor is more robust than the average honey, and the texture makes for an indulgent mouthfeel.
Most honey will simply add a subtle sweet hint to your tea or toast, but Manuka honey is more than that — while we can explain, it’s always better when experienced first-hand.
With that said, a few of our preferred culinary uses of Manuka honey include incorporating it into your morning peanut butter and banana toast, drizzling it over your favorite ice cream, or even working it into a sweet and spicy chili paste. Lastly, one of the best parts of Manuka honey’s sensory characteristics is that it can be enjoyed simply by the spoonful, and many opt for this as an easy addition to any lifestyle.
It Contains MGO (Methylglyoxal)
Methylglyoxal (MGO) is prominent in Manuka honey. This unique nutrient exhibits antibacterial properties, which makes this honey truly unique.
MGO originates in the nectar of the Manuka tea tree flower and is transferred by the bees during the honey production process.
Paying attention to the MGO levels in your Manuka is the first step to ensuring you’re getting the best Manuka possible. Always check that any Manuka honey you buy is MGO-graded. A higher MGO number means more MGO in the Manuka honey, which also means higher levels of other key nutrients such as Leptosperin (a key antioxidant).
Even if you’ve never tried Manuka before, MGO 600+ is a good place to start to reap some of the key benefits that MGO has to offer.
It Has the Powerful Antioxidant Leptosperin
Leptosperin is a highly active phytochemical in Manuka honey; it makes up a majority of Manuka’s concentrated polyphenol levels and significantly contributes to its antioxidant properties. Leptosperin is actually unique to Manuka honey, adding to its distinctive and rare nature.
It’s Packed With Prebiotics
Gut health is a determining factor in many functions of your body. If your gut microbiome isn’t balanced and healthy, it can affect various aspects of your life — your mood, eating habits, energy levels, ability to exercise, weight, and more.
Keeping your gut healthy isn’t necessarily difficult. Often, the piece missing is education regarding dietary and lifestyle choices. For instance, the results can be monumental when a healthy prebiotic is paired with the right diet and lifestyle. While you can get prebiotics in tablet or capsule form, you can also eat foods high in prebiotic nutrients that can help maintain your microbiome.
Manuka honey has several oligosaccharides, prebiotic nutrients that can help support the normal activities of starch-degrading enzymes and help promote a healthy level of beneficial GI bacteria in our gut. Natural sugars can also support the healthy function of this bacteria, which Manuka honey is full of.
Our honey is only home to natural sugar from Manuka tea tree nectar and bees. We never substitute natural nectar with processed sugar, meaning Manukora Manuka honey only has natural sugars.
Natural sugars can work synergistically with other beneficial ingredients in Manuka, making this nectar a genuine superfood when it comes to the nutrients it can offer when consumed.
It Has Retained Virtually All of Its Naturally Occurring Nutrients
At Manukora, we ensure our Manuka honey remains in its rawest and purest form, making it a rich source of nutrients with natural soothing and purifying abilities.
True raw honey is honey dehydrated by the bees, meaning we don’t put our honey through pasteurization or artificial concentrating process like some commercially produced honey. Since some properties in honey are heat-sensitive, pasteurizing can mean that some highly desired and naturally beneficial nutrients are lost.
Our beekeeping methods prioritize happy, healthy bees, which means higher-quality honey. We first ensure the honeycombs are completely capped (this ensures low moisture); next, we slowly heat the honey to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Lastly, we send the honey through two coarse filters to remove any wax or unneeded extras while leaving all the good stuff.
Allowing the bees to dehydrate the honey properly is crucial, not just for the honey’s wellness qualities but also for the bees.
At the end of the day, we’re proud to work with Mother Nature, not against her, which is why we ensure that implementing The Art of Ethical Beekeeping is our top priority. After all, we’d have zero super honey if it wasn’t for the bees and the sweet nectar they collect — and allowing them to finish the entire process at their own pace.
The Bottom Line
Manuka honey differs from other honey primarily due to its nutrient potency, which gives way to many health properties. The unique sensory experience it provides is simply an added bonus.
To ensure you get the most out of this super honey, consider using the Manukora Dose Spoon for precise servings. Learn more about our founder's insights and the story behind our honey in September Sweet Talks with Manukora's Founder, and discover more about the wellness benefits of Manuka honey in our dedicated guide on Manuka Honey Wellness.
While all honey is beloved, many factors can contribute to its possible health benefits. Manuka honey is a super honey due to the presence of over 2,000 naturally occurring compounds, far more than any other honey type. This complex array of natural compounds (of which over 30 can only be found in Manuka) results in a highly active, rich, creamy caramel honey unlike no other you’ve tasted before.
While we’re preferable to Manuka honey, we’ve also had our fair share to try. The only way you will truly know if Manuka is worth its recent buzz is if you give a heaping spoonful of this indulgent wellness experience a try for yourself!