Goodness of Nature
What is Manuka Honey?
Manuka Honey is harvested from New Zealand’s pollution-free manuka bushes (Leptospermum Scoparium) and is renowned for its unique flavor and health enhancing benefits.
For thousands of years, honey has been known for its antibacterial properties primarily due to the hydrogen peroxide formed by the glucose enzymes present in honey. However, laboratory studies have shown that manuka honey has an unique and remarkable Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA) that is not found in other honey. This property is a natural occurring process that happens after the nectar turns into honey. The presence of NPA can only be detected by an array of scientific tests against the phenol standard to achieve an Unique Manuka Factor or UMF rating.
What makes UMF Manuka Honey so special?
The enzymes in the non-peroxide activity do not breakdown and is stable with water, saliva, body tissues and extreme temperatures; whereas peroxide activity does lose its antibacterial properties over time. This unique NPA sets Manuka Honey as one of the wonderfood. Do take note that not all Manuka Honey has this Non-Peroxide Activity.
There are so many types of Manuka Ratings – what do they mean?
While it is understood to think that the higher the number, the better it is. It is as important to know what is it being measured alongside the numbers. We are not surprise if you are confused by the different types of Manuka ratings such as TA, UMF®, NPA, MGO, and Active.
What does each jargon means?
NPA ( Non-Peroxide Activity)
The NPA test determines the level of non-peroxide activity presented in the Manuka Honey. NPA activity is unique to Manuka Honey and be assured that the active claims refers to the Unique Manuka Factor since the peroxide activity is not included in the ratings.
UMF® (Unique Manuka Factor)
The UMF® is a registered trademark by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) to help consumers ensure they are not purchasing Manuka Honey with little or no antibacterial activity. Manuka Honey is tested and certified by the laboratory accredited by the UMFHA for the level of NPA component presented before the registered member is allow to use the UMF logo on the label. This will ensure the rating refers to the NPA activity and has been independently certified.
TA (Total Activity)
TA refers to the Total Activity level present in the honey. This number is obtained from both Peroxide and Non-Peroxide Activity(NPA) levels. Therefore TA (Total Activity) is not unique to Manuka Honey and most of the time will appear higher than NPA ratings.
Methylglyoxal (MGO) content can be used as a measurement to determine the effectiveness of Manuka Honey. However, MGO is only a chemical marker and its high rating does not reflect the actual level of NPA in the honey. Moreover, this marker changes over time so it is very hard to achieve a direct conversion to NPA activity.
This term is often used to distinguish Manuka Honey with non-peroxide activity from those non-active Manuka Honey. It is more important to know what is it being measured for the active claims, whether is it TA or NPA.
UMF® Activity Table
Benefits of UMF® Manuka Honey
Not suitable for children below the age of one.