In HONEY NEWS

Today, 5th February 2018, the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (“MPI”) long awaited General Export Requirements for Bee Products (“GREX”) will come into force. The GREX is the result of a four-year science programme run by MPI.

The GREX has been designed to address global consumers’ concerns regarding the authenticity of New Zealand Mānuka honey by introducing a scientific definition which is used as a basis for labelling and certifying New Zealand Mānuka honey. The GREX differentiates between monofloral Mānuka, multifloral Mānuka and non-Mānuka.

Once honey has passed the GREX definition, brands can then apply an MPI approved quality mark such as UMF or MGO to their honey products.
The UMF / MGO results will still be reported in the same way.
The new standard will have a very little effect on the labelling of UMF / MGO products as this honey has always been authenticated by measuring unique markers found only in Mānuka honey.
UMF 5+ and MGO 30/80+ will now be labelled as “multifloral Mānuka honey”. This is to inform the consumer that the product contains honey from the Mānuka tea tree and also honey from other floral sources, naturally blended by the bees during the harvest period.
UMF 10+, 15+ and 20+ will see no change, the label will state “Mānuka honey” conveying to the consumer that the product contains honey wholly sourced from the Mānuka tea tree.

There will be some brands and rating systems in the market that are now exposed for their illegitimate honey. This will be an enormous win for the New Zealand honey industry and all UMF members who have been battling against these fake products for years.

The GREX also has new traceability requirements. This will further strengthen the trust and authenticity in New Zealand produced honey products.

The standard will be strictly enforced and the word “Mānuka” cannot be used unless the definition is met.

Here are the details of the new definition for mono/multifloral Mānuka honey:

A batch of honey is certified monofloral Mānuka honey if the following four chemical markers and DNA are detected.

·        ≥ 5 mg/kg 2’-methoxyacetophenone; and

  • ≥ 1 mg/kg 2-methoxybenzoic acid; and
  • ≥ 1 mg/kg 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid; and
  • ≥ 400 mg/kg 3-phenyllactic acid; and
  • DNA from Mānuka pollen (< Cq 36 which is approximately 3 fg/μL DNA).

A batch of honey is certified multifloral Mānuka honey if the following four chemical markers and DNA are detected.

  • ≥ 1 mg/kg 2’-methoxyacetophenone; and
  • ≥ 1 mg/kg 2-methoxybenzoic acid; and
  • ≥ 1 mg/kg 4-hydroxyphenyllactic acid; and
  • ≥ 20 mg/kg 3-phenyllactic acid; and
  • DNA from Mānuka pollen (< Cq 36 which is approximately 3 fg/μL DNA).

When purchasing Mānuka, please demand New Zealand packaged and labelled product that complies with these rules, the easiest way to do this is looking for UMF rated Mānuka.
Any genuine Mānuka honey company should be able to provide you with these test results for product produced after 5 February 2018.

 

 

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