Manuka honey is far from a new commodity, but as it swarms the internet in popularity, you may have questions. What is Manuka honey, and how is it different from regular honey?
If you’ve seen Manuka honey before, you may have noticed its darker-than-normal color or its creamer-than-usual texture. The sweet, rich, and velvety flavors of this superfood set it apart from other honey.
But what is it about Manuka honey that makes it delicious? What’s the story behind Manuka honey’s uses in traditional alternative medicine, and what exactly makes it a superfood?
Here at Manukora, we know Manuka inside and out, and we’re happy to introduce you to Manuka honey, discuss what sets it apart, and share its benefits.
What Is Manuka Honey?
Manuka honey is a special type of honey that can only be produced in New Zealand from the nectar of the Leptospermum scoparium tree/flower, also called the New Zealand tea tree or the Manuka tree.
The Manuka tree responsible for this delicious nectar only blossoms for two to six weeks during the summer, and it can only thrive in the specific climate that New Zealand’s remote forests offer, which is why the Manuka nectar supply is limited, and why a spoonful of Manuka is an indulgence in a not-so-common commodity.
It is well known that the highest quality Manuka honey comes from what beekeepers call The Golden Triangle of New Zealand. The triangle spans from Taranaki on the West Coast, across to the wild East Cape, and to the top of the North Island in Northland.
With that, there are a few additional things that make the Manuka honey here at Manukora the best of the best. Our Manuka honey is ethically produced, raw, unpasteurized honey, native to New Zealand and fully traceable to every step of the process.
The production of our authentic Manuka honey wouldn't be possible without our strict reliance on the art of ethical beekeeping, which ultimately means we let the honey-making process take place with virtually no human intervention. We believe in working with Mother Nature, not against her — and our honey is better for it.
How Do I Know If My Manuka Honey Is Authentic?
To reap the benefits of Manuka honey, it must be authentic, which means it must be from New Zealand. Additionally, there are certain naturally occurring compounds and unique markers that must be present to verify the authenticity of genuine Manuka honey.
First and foremost, one of the most important compounds in your Manuka honey is Methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO is an organic compound with natural antibacterial properties, and it comes directly (and solely) from the Manuka tree.
Each batch of Manukora Manuka honey is tested and given an MGO rating, which indicates your Manuka honey's potency (or strength).
Higher-grade Manuka honey will have a taste and texture like no other honey you've had before. You can expect it to be dark, sweet, thick, and creamy — similar to caramel but with a more complex flavor profile.
Leptosperin is an active phytochemical in Manuka honey; it makes up a majority of Manuka’s polyphenol levels and contributes to its antioxidant properties.
Leptosperin is unique to Manuka honey, adding to its distinctive and rare nature. All authentic Manuka honey has levels of detectable levels of Leptosperin.
Just as the MGO levels in your Manuka honey can be very telling, so can its rating from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). New Zealand Manuka honey must also have Leptosperin and DHA (or dihydroxyacetone) to be considered authentic Manuka.
The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has set strict guidelines to authenticate Manuka honey. Only MPI-approved laboratories can test and confirm the honey's authenticity, so if your Manuka honey is 'MPI Certified, you know it's genuine.
You can even check for yourself by scanning the unique QR code on each Manukora honey product. This code will provide a detailed history of your honey product’s production process, including the exact hive your honey came from and its breakdown of beneficial compounds.
What Are the Benefits of Manuka Honey?
For anyone who has tasted Manuka honey, there's no argument that it has a distinct delectable taste, but is it as beneficial as everyone says?
Put simply, yes — the beneficial effects of Manuka honey come from the unique compounds the Manuka tree has to offer.
Manuka honey is a rare gift from Mother Nature, and with a history (almost) as rich as its flavor, Manuka is a healthy indulgence that can support almost any lifestyle and routine in one way or another.
For Sweetening Your Day
A heaping spoonful of Manuka honey can help kickstart your morning and fuel you with feelings of energy thanks to its natural sugar content.
On top of this, Manuka is an attractive substitute in really any instance you may use sugar. Whether it’s to sweeten your morning coffee, add some extra richness to your evening tea, or as a natural sweetener for your favorite homemade sauce, Manuka not only brings a rich sweet flavor profile, but a handful of wellness benefits that other sweeteners just don’t bring to the table.
For Digestive Health
How does Manuka honey help with digestion? Manuka honey has naturally occurring prebiotic oligosaccharides and additional nutrients, which can support gut health by feeding the healthy bacteria of the gut microbiome.
This naturally occurring compound is also found in other plants like onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus, banana, and artichoke, but we’re confident you’ll be much more excited to get your share of prebiotics from incorporating sweet Manuka into your morning routine
For Immune Function
Manuka honey provides natural immune support thanks to specific nutrients and the potent levels of Methylglyoxal (MGO) that come from Manuka nectar. This naturally cleansing compound helps empower your natural, healthy immune response, and is most beneficial at a minimum of 600+ MGO Manuka.
For the Planet-Friendly Lifestyle
Our Manuka honey is all-natural. With the practice of ethical beekeeping being our guiding philosophy, you can trust that each batch of Manukora Manuka honey is made with respect and care for our bees and the Earth.
Consuming all-natural products free of unnecessary additives can support your overall well-being (and that of the planet). At Manukora, we never employ the use of pesticides, antibiotics, or sprays in our beekeeping methods.
All Manukora honey products are non-GMO project-certified, residue-free certified, antibiotic-free, raw, and unpasteurized, always.
How Is Manuka Honey Different From Regular Honey?
Manuka honey is a rare commodity full of delicious, natural goodness, but isn't all honey like that? Well, not necessarily — not all honey is created equal.
Natural, unpasteurized, raw honey can offer beneficial wellness compounds on top of its sweet deliciousness; however, most commercially produced honey is far from raw or unpasteurized.
What’s important to know is that honey doesn’t, by default, need pasteurization. The bees know what they're doing and, if left alone, will finish the honey-creation process themselves. While it may take a little longer, it's best for the bees (and the honey) not to rush the process.
Honey from commercialized and industrialized producers goes through pasteurization because it’s a rigorous heating method that dehydrates honey and gives it a uniform syrupy texture, color, and consistency — all ideal traits for a shelf-stable grocery commodity.
It’s Ethically Harvested (At Least Here at Manukora)
Not only do we remove the honey at the right time, but we also make sure to remove just the right amount. Honey bees need to survive the whole winter, and we ensure they have plenty of that precious nectar for themselves.
A lot of commercial honey manufacturers will take all of the honey and substitute it with what’s effectively sugar water or even high fructose corn syrup, and bees deserve better than that.
Another factor differentiating Manuka honey from other types of honey is that it is 100 percent monofloral.
Monofloral Manuka honey is produced from the pollen of Manuka flowers only (the flowers from the Leptospermum Scoparium tree, or New Zealand Manuka bush).
Polyfloral honey is derived from a variety of blossoms. Although our bees sometimes visit other plants as they roam, we test each batch to ensure authenticity and purity.
The Bottom Line
Manuka honey is a rare honey variety that comes from a specific region of New Zealand, where it is derived from a seasonally limited resource since Manuka trees blossom for about six weeks per year at most.
Rich in natural beneficial compounds, Manuka honey is not only a one-of-a-kind sensory experience, but also a healthy indulgence that can fit into any routine.
At Manukora, we’re proud to say that our Manuka is also ethically and sustainably produced — we believe happy bees make for the best honey, and that the planet deserves all we can give her in exchange for the goodness she provides.
With a taste and texture like no other, this Honey With Superpowers™ is undoubtedly one of a kind, so what are you waiting for?
Explore Manukora’s wide selection of authentic New Zealand Manuka honey here.
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview | PMC
Objective Definition of Monofloral and Polyfloral Honeys Based on NMR Metabolomic Profiling | Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry