How to Choose the Best Manuka Honey

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How to Choose the Best Manuka Honey

If you’ve done any research to find the best manuka honey you know its not cheap!  In addition, you know the price is usually connected to a rating standard called UMF or Unique Manuka Factor.  Is the expensive manuka honey best?  Read on to learn key secrets about UMF that help you choose top quality manuka honey without breaking your budget!

What is UMF (Unique Manuka Factor)?

Most honey has mild antiseptic properties because hydrogen peroxide is produced as the glucose found in honey breaks down.  Manuka honey has some additional elements that “kick it up and notch” as Emeril Lagasse would say.  UMF is essentially a way to measure the extra antioxidant properties of manuka honey. The standard was established by Dr. Peter Molan who has been studying the effects of manuka honey on human health for many years.  Today each honey is rated for UMF content by the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA). The rating is established by comparing the bacteria-killing abilities of manuka honey to different concentrations of standard disinfectants.  These ratings are from 10 – 25 with 10 being the lowest concentration rating.

Most consumers associate high quality manuka honey with the highest UMF rating. As a result, manuka honey with higher ratings tend to priced higher than those with lower ratings.  This is because buyers perceive value from the higher rating which causes higher demand and thus a higher price.  Some manuka honey experts disagree with the rating system and the perceived values it supports.

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The bottom line is that if you are looking for a gentle antiseptic then even the lowest rating by UMF or MGO should meet your needs.

What is the Best Way to Shop for Manuka Honey?

Kerry Paul, a leader in manuka honey manufacturing has long been at odds with the UMF rating system.  He believes that UMF testing can produce different ratings from the same honey sample and prefers to measure methylglyoxal or MGO which is an antiseptic compound found in large quantities in manuka honey.

Peter Molan who originally developed the UMF rating system begrudgingly agrees with Mr. Paul that the UMF rating system is “broken” and is planning to release a new, revised UMF rating standard in the near future.  So how can you decide which manuka honey is best?

Conclusion:  Buy the Best Manuka Honey at the Lowest Cost!

Many manuka honey industry leaders agree that weather you choose to rate your honey by UMF or MGO there is no need to pay upwards of $35.oo a jar for the highest rated honey. Ken Allen, who manages a manuka honey wound dressing manufacturer agrees.  He doesn’t believe either rating can fully and accurately measure manuka honeys special healing abilities.  He cautions consumers, “It doesn’t have to have a high rating.  Even one as low as UMF 10 can heal leg ulcers.”

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