• STOP PRESS: NZ Government’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) attempts to implement a new manuka honey definition

 

Concerned about the negative impact on New Zealand’s reputation of media reports regarding fake manuka honey being sold, the New Zealand government’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been developing a fingerprint for New Zealand manuka honey – a scientific definition based on its unique constituents.


MPI has developed five proposed tests to authenticate manuka honey.
MPI’s science programme found that a combination of 5 attributes (4 chemicals, 1 DNA marker from manuka pollen) are required to separate manuka honey from other honey types. These tests will be used to categorize the honey as monofloral manuka honey and multifloral manuka honey or not manuka honey at all.

What we say:
What MPI is proposing is a good foundation testing regime to build a rating system on, but it falls short of providing such. It only gives the honey repacker two options to use when labeling the jars: - These are multifloral manuka and monofloral manuka. MPI’s proposed testing regime does not segment or categorize the honey enough to allow the consumer, (you), an informed purchasing decision as to the accurate constituent nectars and properties of the honey.
Additionally, we believe laboratory testing of New Zealand honey samples against the new definition have shown MPI to have set the pass rates for monofloral categorization relatively low, meaning it might actually be more multifloral than monofloral.

And what does monofloral mean anyway?
Mono meaning  “alone,” “single,” “one”,
Floral in the botany context means flower…
So the honey comes from only one flower type? Really?
So when hives are placed around native NZ manuka forests, that do contain other floral plant species, the bees have only foraged on the manuka flowers when their foraging range is easily 2kms?   Nonsense!

Indeed the accepted term for monofloral honey, is honey derived from predominantly one floral type. Combine that with MPI’s only other manuka nomenclature option of multifloral, means your definitely buying honey derived from some manuka flowers but also other floral nectars.

This does not necessarily allow you need to make an informed purchasing decision.
So here’s what Avatar Honey will be doing…
When MPI’s new definition is implemented all our manuka honey will undergo independent laboratory testing to ensure it meets MPI’s new definition for manuka honey. 
To grade our honey further, we will continue using the MQS rating system, to let you the consumer know about the honey’s full constituent make up and unique manuka properties in a way that is easy for you to understand.

Just continue to look for the MQS symbol. Its that simple!

More reading from MPI on chemistry details of manuka.. http://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-producing/bees-and-other-insects/manuka-honey/

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