Manuka Honey FAQs

Manuka Honey FAQs

 Q: What does UMF mean?

A: UMF is the abbreviation for ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ and is the standard of measure established by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA). A UMF grading system measures natural markers found in Manuka Honey and assures quality, purity and authenticity. This system is also compliant with the Ministry of Primary Industry’s labelling guidelines for Manuka Honey. Only Manuka Honey that is UMF graded and has been independently tested by UMFHA is given a UMF grade. Visit for more information. 

Q: Is your honey organic?

A: Our honey is not officially certified as organic food. However, there is nothing added to this product artificially at any stage in the honey production process. The farmland that the bees forage is not sprayed with pesticides, herbicides or insecticides because the rugged, mountainous terrain is not suitable for animals to graze. 

Q: Is your honey 100% raw?

A: Yes, our honey is 100% raw. This means that we do not add anything to the honey at any stage of the production process. The product you receive is as it exists in the beehive after extraction. It has not been heated or pasteurised. 

Q: Why is Manuka Honey so expensive?

A: Manuka Honey is unique to New Zealand and comes from the Leptospermum Scoparium tree, which is a native and limited resource. With a small window for harvest and difficult to extract, it is a specialised task for beekeepers to obtain quality Manuka Honey. There are only 2800 tonnes of Manuka Honey produced each year, this is compared with 1.9 million tonnes of other honey produced globally. Ongoing research continues to support the incredible health benefits of Manuka honey, resulting in its increasing global demand. 

Read more about why Manuka Honey is so expensive at this post.

Q: How can you tell if UMF Manuka Honey is real?

A: Here is a checklist to identify genuine UMF Manuka Honey.

  1. The quality UMF trademark is clearly stated on the label.
  2. The honey is produced in New Zealand. As mentioned above, honey cannot be imported into New Zealand. The consumer is assured that UMF Manuka honey is truly and only New Zealand Manuka honey.
  3. It is processed, packed and labelled in New Zealand.
  4. It has the New Zealand UMF Licensee’s brand name on the label (and is also present on the UMFHA website licensees list
  5. It is produced by a New Zealand company licensed to use the quality trademark UMF.
  6. A grading number without the abbreviation UMF does not identify genuine UMF Manuka Honey. It must have a rating number alongside the trademark UMF.
  7. It can be verified by the Official UMF Release Document which states the test results for the batch number shown on the jar label. The Official UMF Release Document presents test results for all four Manuka markers (Leptosperin + Methylglyoxal + DHA + HMF)

Q: How many calories are in a teaspoon of Manuka Honey compared to a teaspoon of refined sugar?

A: There are 12 calories in a teaspoon of Manuka Honey and 16 calories in a teaspoon of refined sugar. Manuka Honey is a complex superfood that contains many nutritional benefits compared to refined sugar which contains no nutritional benefit. 

Q: What does UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+, UMF 20+ and UMF 24+ mean?

A: There are two components to the UMF grading system, which are stated on any UMF certified Manuka Honey product. 

  1. The label, which claims that it is Manuka.
  2. The number, which represents three chemical markers that indicate the content of Manuka Honey to ensure quality and purity. The chemical markers are DHA, MGO and Leptosperin. Visit: for more information.

Q: Why are there different grading systems for Manuka Honey?

A: There are six better-known grading systems for Manuka Honey, which are Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), Methylglyoxal (MGO), BioActive, KFactor, Molan Gold Standard (MGS) and Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA). Manuka Honey has been around for many years. However, it was only 38 years ago that Doctor Peter Molan from the University of Waikato in New Zealand discovered the powerful health benefits of Manuka Honey. Since then organisations have been established to conduct their own extensive research on Manuka Honey due to its incredibly unique properties. In 1998 the UMFHA was founded to do just that and protect not only the Manuka Honey industry but its consumers as well.
The UMF and MGO grading systems are the oldest, most well established and widely recognised grading systems of Manuka Honey in the world. 

Q: What grade of Manuka Honey do you recommend for a cut/abrasion or wound?

UMF 10+ Manuka Honey is a minimum recommendation.

Q: Can Manuka Honey be taken during pregnancy?

A: For many years, women have consumed Manuka Honey during pregnancy with no reported problems. Always consult a professional as necessary.

Q: Can my infant eat Manuka Honey?

A: No. It is not safe for infants under 18 months old to ingest Manuka Honey. Manuka Honey contains live enzymes and bacteria because it is a living food. These living organisms can grow inside a baby’s gut and cause infant botulism. Babies’ intestines are not mature enough to fight the harmful bacteria. 

Q: How long will Manuka Honey keep for?

A: Honey doesn’t really expire. It has been said that it remains as good as it was when it was extracted. As long as it is stored properly (out of direct sunlight, not exposed to direct heat and isn’t frozen) it will last well beyond it’s best before date. For health and safety purposes we recommend to consume your honey within three years of opening. 

The UMF grading and activity levels in the honey will decline over time. Our UMF Manuka Honey is guaranteed to hold its certified activity levels until at least the expiry date stated on the Jar.

Q: What can I do if my honey has turned granular?

A: If your honey becomes gritty and sugar like, don’t fret it is perfectly fine to consume and does not mean that it is of poor quality or has been adulterated. Honey can naturally crystalise, particularly when the weather turns cooler. Simply place the jar in a warm area or gently heat in order to soften the honey, this will remove the crystals. 

Q: Why do you cream your Manuka Honey?

A: When the honey comes directly from the hive it is liquid. After a period of time, the honey will start to granulate. We control the granulation by creaming our Manuka Honey. Once the honey changes state from liquid to solid it will never reverse and is very stable.

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