These are all manuka rating systems and will correlate to the honey’s antibacterial properties.Lets explore them in more detail…Methylglyoxal (MG or MGO ) concentration (expressed in mg/kg) is a common rating system used by many manuka honey companies. Methylglyoxal is a stable natural antiseptic compound only found in manuka honey in high concentrations. Therefore, it is directly linked to a honey’s antibacterial potency and also a good measure of its manuka floral origins.
Recently, a manuka honey’s Methylgloxal concentration has been the most important factor in determining the quality and value of the honey. BUT, not all manuka honey will have high concentrations of MGO and MGO can be added artificially by unscrupulous companies. What about labels that rate their honey on the percentage of Manuka Pollen?Pollen: Flower nectar contains a small amount of pollen. Pollen is also present on the anthers of all plants from which bees collect nectar and this is transferred onto the bee’s body during its foraging.So bee’s foraging manuka flowers will collect manuka pollen, which carries over into the honey.By observing pollen under a microscope, it is possible to identify its plant family, genus and species. Similarly by observing pollen present in the honey, it is possible to identify the floral sources of the nectar used to make the honey. This is why microscopy pollen analysis is an internationally accepted method of determining a honeys floral type.
However, pollen alone should not be used as the sole indicator of floral origin for manuka honey. The manuka plant’s closely related cousin, Kanuka, has pollen grains that are almost identical to manuka pollen. In many parts of NZ, both manuka and kanuka plants co-exist in the same area and flower at similar times. The resulting honey is commonly a mixture of both or could even be wholly kanuka dominant. The common name for both honey types to date has been Manuka.
The resulting mix is still delicious and has good health giving properties, however Kanuka honey, won’t have a high MGO concentration. The MQS (Manuka Quality Standard) system uses Methylglyoxal concentration AND also uses pollen concentration as its two key parameters to grade manuka honey to create a robust grading system specifically for manuka honey.That’s why we use the multi-faceted MQS rating system as part of our 6 point quality assurance program to guarantee the provenance of our manuka honey.
MQS source http://www.mqs.co.nz/UMF Source: http://www.umf.org.nz/grading-system-explained/ Rating systems to avoid:Avoid manuka honey suppliers that use one dimensional rating systems i.e. that only use one parameter to grade their honey.Additionally, we recommend you avoid buying honey labeled as manuka based on a Total Activity or Peroxided activity rating as this is a property any honey will have and therefore not a good indicator of its ‘manuka’ properties.
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