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

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

Executive Summary: 

  • Many beneficial compounds are found solely in Manuka honey, including MGO, Leptosperin, and others.

  • Manukora honey includes a QR code with information about its authenticity, potency, and even about its particular hive and beekeeper.


“Verified honey” — the term sounds a little earnest, but the issue of “real” versus “fake” honey has unfortunately become a problem over the past decade as our world moves toward more high-quality foods that are better for our health. We're here to show you exactly how to tell the real from the fake.

We hope to help this worry become a second thought, and we’ll talk about what we do here at Manukora to provide some peace of mind when it comes to knowing everything to know about the golden nectar that is Manuka honey.  


Why Is It Important To Use Real Honey

Real, unprocessed, raw honey can offer many benefits, which is why honey has become increasingly popular as people move toward more healthful foods. However, your body won't reap those same benefits from adulterated honey, especially when it comes to Manuka honey. 

Many beneficial compounds 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 and is 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 preservatives and other additives not quite found in nature. 

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


What Are Signs My Honey Isn't Real?

If you suspect your Manuka honey isn't 100 percent authentic, here are a few ways to take a closer look at your honey. 


What Manuka Should Look Like

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

Test It Out

It's time to put your honey to the test — here are ways to test your honey at home. 

The consistency test:

Firstly, if your Manuka is not thick, it may have thinned due to warm temperatures. Put it in the refrigerator overnight and it should return to its thick consistency.

The water test:

Drop 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 as chocolate syrup dissolves into cold milk. 

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, 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 and you should 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: 

  • A 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 accessible to you, the better — let's all be honey experts.

We have invested heavily in our QR traceability technology to ensure our customers have access to critical information for every single batch we produce. At Manukora, we think that the more information 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

Manuka honey offers 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:

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

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

Not to mention, it works wonders on your 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 your 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. 

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.

Looking to learn more about Manukora’s ethical beekeeping and sustainability practices? Click here

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


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

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