MGO is short for ‘Methylglyoxal’. MGO is a unique naturally-occurring compound found in Manuka honey that exhibits potent antibacterial activity and has made Manuka one of the most sought after honeys in the world.
A study in 2008 by researchers at Waikato University found that the antimicrobial activity (NPA) in Manuka honey (i.e. its antibacterial properties) was directly correlated with its MGO levels. So, the higher the MGO, the stronger the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey.
Make sense? Great. But where does MGO come from?
Where does MGO come from?
MGO is a naturally occurring compound that comes from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree flowers. Not all Manuka flowers provide the same levels of MGO, thus beekeepers seek remote and active Manuka forests to place their hives in so they can collect potent Manuka nectar with high MGO potential.
Is MGO the full story?
Manuka honey has over 2000 unique natural compounds, far more than other honey types, 30 of which are found only in Manuka.
We grade our products for their MGO levels as it is a key bioactive compound, and also due to the fact that it is a superb marker compound.
As the MGO grade gets higher, the other key bioactive compounds in Manuka (e.g. lepteridine, leptosperin) also get higher.
MGO is clearly marked on the front of each Manukora product for simplicity - the higher the MGO number, the higher the potency of the key bioactive compounds in Manuka.
We’re also a member of the UMF association (Member 2228) which is why you can also find a UMF rating on most of our labels. A simple guide of MGO vs UMF is below.
How do I know my Manuka honey is authentic?
Because authenticity and traceability are so important to us, we’ve implemented a special traceability system that allows you to trace your jar of honey back to it’s source location and it even displays the lab's test results for your jar of honey. Simply scan your jar of honey with your phone.
2008 study: Adams, Christopher.J., Boult, C.H., Deadman, B.J., Farr, J.M., Grainger, M.N.C., Manley-Harris, M. , Snow, M.J. Isolation by HPLC and characterisation of bioactive fraction of New Zealand manuka (Letospermum scoparium) honey. J. Carbohydr. Res. 2008, 343, 651-659
2009 study: Adams, Christopher.J., Boult, C.H., Deadman, B.J., Farr, J.M., Grainger, M.N.C., Manley-Harris, M. , Snow, M.J. Corrigendum to "Isolation by HPLC and characterization of the bioactive fraction of New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey"[Carbohydr. Res. 2008, 343, 651-659]. Carbohydr. Res. 2009, 344(18):2609-2609