The UMF™ ('Unique Mānuka Factor') quality mark is the gold standard for Mānuka Honey certification. It is designed to provide consumers around the globe with absolute assurance of authenticity and potency. The quality mark and the associated certification is governed by The UMF Honey Association™, an independent body representing members that are responsible for >80% of the genuine Mānuka exports from New Zealand.
Bioactives required for the UMF grading system.
UMF’s Mānuka Honey grading system can tell you two things about the two most sought after and possibly the most beneficial attributes of Mānuka Honey.
- That a minimum requirement of Methylglyoxal (MGO) levels are present - MGO is linked to antibacterial properties.
- That a minimum required level of Leptosperin (100 mg/kg) is present - this is linked to anti-inflammatory properties is 100 mg/kg.
So what makes the testing so special? The testing itself is the most comprehensive standardised test for testing the authenticity and potency of Mānuka Honey. The honey goes through some 14 different tests to ensure:
- It is Mānuka Honey.
- The potency of that honey.
These tests more than cover the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries definition and standard for Mānuka Honey.
The UMF Honey Association’s work doesn’t stop there; they also conduct randomised testing of Mānuka Honey jars with the UMF logo by appointing independent auditors to regularly check and analyse samples from around the world. This helps protect consumers from counterfeit products.
So why is this important?
Mānuka Honey is rare and difficult to produce, which makes it a premium product and as such there are a lot of people out there trying to take advantage of that. According to this article from The Independent in 2014, an estimated 10,000 tonnes of Mānuka Honey was consumed globally. Yet production of genuine Mānuka Honey that year was just 1,700 tonnes.
As genuine producers of raw Mānuka Honey, we were determined to help stop this through educating and by making sure that there are foolproof ways that people can tell a fake from a real product - which is why we joined The UMF Honey Association and continue to support it.
There are some other standards out there like MGS™, KFactor™ and BioActive™ but none of these are as comprehensive or as informative as UMF.
Want to know how the UMF grading system is directly correlated to the amount of MGO? Keep reading here.
Our unique traceability system
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.
The UMF standards
All member companies of The UMF Honey Association have to adhere to the following quality standards:
- Only companies that strictly comply with UMF Quality Standards and are licensed by the UMFHA are permitted to use the UMF Quality Trademark.
- UMF can only be used on genuine Mānuka Honey from New Zealand.
- The Mānuka Honey is tested, packed and labelled in New Zealand.
- Product testing results can be validated.
- Regulatory definition with our extra layer of quality testing.
- Supported by an advanced science programme.
- Guaranteed to meet the New Zealand Government's - MPI regulatory definition with our extra layer of quality testing.
- Tested for HMF to meet International Standards requirements.