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How We Grade Manuka Honey

We test our honey for various different compounds and qualities, including the all important MGO.


 Measuring MGO 

Exceptionally high MGO concentrations are what give Manuka honey its special properties. Measuring MGO concentrations is an exact science: It’s possible to measure the specific concentration of MGO in every individual batch of honey. 


That’s exactly what we do here at Helena Health. We work out the precise concentration of MGO in each of our batches of Manuka honey then report the concentrations on individual jar labels.


As an example, a jar of our Manuka honey might be certified MGO 550+. That means the Manuka honey inside has been tested and certified to contain at least 550 mg of MGO per kg. MGO concentrations show you exactly how powerful your Manuka honey is.


 Which MGO is right for you? 

New Zealand Food Standards prohibits us from discussing the potential health benefits of Manuka honey, which makes this a tricky question for us to answer.


What we can say is, today, scientists continue to study Manuka honey’s properties. Following scientific research, many people choose to use Manuka honey not just as a standard honey but as a health supplement.


We encourage you to take a look at the research. Have a google. If it makes your life easier, you can find some of the research here.

 Shop our products 

Buy from our range of Manuka honey and bee products, delivered directly from New Zealand to your door.

 Why we prefer MGO to UMF 

MGO concentrations are exact. A certified MGO 550+ batch of Manuka honey must contain at least 550 mg per kg of MGO, the compound that makes Manuka honey so special. 


UMF, meanwhile, stands for Unique Manuka Factor… and it isn’t exact. The term was first coined by Professor Peter Molan of the University of Waikato, who realised Manuka honey’s antimicrobial properties were caused by more than simple peroxides. He wasn’t entirely sure what explained Manuka honey’s unique characteristics, so he used the UMF to differentiate between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ Manuka honeys. 


Now we know every UMF is determined by a Manuka honey’s MGO, we believe a honey’s exact MGO concentration is a more precise and more reliable measure of its potency.

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