WHAT MAKES MANUKA HONEY SO SPECIAL?
For thousands of year honey has been used both orally and topically as a natural remedy. All honey has the enzyme glucose oxidase – which releases hydrogen peroxide. The enzyme is secreted into the honey by the bee when regurgitating nectar from the floral source. As a result all honeys have hydrogen peroxide present. The native New Zealand Manuka bush (Leptospermum Scoparium) is known to contain a special property that distinguishes it from all other honeys.
These unique properties were discovered by New Zealand scientist Dr Peter Molan, who began his honey investigation in 1982. The numbering system 10+ 16+ 20+ 25+ was used to show the antibacterial efficacy of the honey when applied topically – 5+ was added later to show honey with some Manuka in it. This level does not have significant antibacterial strength.
“MGS Manuka Honey has been tested to the ethical and scientific standards of Dr Molan himself.”
In 2009 Thomas Henle from Dresden University announced the isolation of the chemical marker Methylglyoxal in New Zealand Manuka Honey. This originates from the chemical compound dihydroxyacetone (DHA) which is present in the nectar of Manuka flowers to varying degrees.
DHA, from the nectar, is chemically converted to MGO during the production of honey in the hive. This scientific evidence has confirmed methylglyoxal as being a key compound that occurs naturally in Manuka Honey over time.
New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has worked closely with scientists and the Manuka Honey industry to determine what rating and grading systems are available to guide and protect consumers. Currently MPI has identified Methylglyoxal (‘MG’ or ‘MGO’) as an ingredient that can be used in labelling and marketing Manuka Honey.
There are a number of trade marks recognised by consumers that have been created to verify genuine Manuka honey and its origin. The Molan Gold Standard™ was developed and named after the scientist who discovered the special properties of Manuka Honey. Dr Molan is acknowledged as one of the world’s leading honey scientists, the MGS mark on Manuka Honey guarantees purity and quality.