What Is Genuine Mānuka Honey?

For thousands of years, many communities have recognized the antibacterial properties of honey. In regular honey, hydrogen peroxide is the main compound that delivers the antibacterial properties.

Due to honey’s popularity, today’s consumer is bombarded with many different types of honey. Unfortunately, some honey products have very little honey content and mostly contain sugar, water, and corn syrup.

Mānuka honey is among the most-sort after types of honey. Unsurprisingly, not every brand that claims to sell Mānuka honey actually sells the authentic New Zealand Mānuka honey.

The good news is you can identify genuine Mānuka honey to be sure that you are paying for the real stuff. Read on to learn more about what is genuine Mānuka honey.

What Is Mānuka Honey

Mānuka honey is a native of New Zealand. The name originates from the Mānuka bush from which bees extract pollen and nectar.

Mānuka is hailed for its potent antibacterial properties and is widely used for the treatment of diabetes complications and a variety of skin problems.

The Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF) is the antibiotic element that distinguishes Mānuka honey from all other types of honey.

The UMF of a batch of Mānuka honey is based on the quantity of three ingredients that are naturally found in the honey. These three ingredients include Methylglyoxal, Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is a form of omega-3 fatty acid, and leptosperin.

A high UMF figure indicates that the batch of Mānuka honey has strong antibacterial properties. Mānuka honey with UMF content of 12 or higher is largely used in medical settings for the treatment of conditions such as bed sores, burns, cuts, and wounds.

What Is Genuine Mānuka Honey

To identify genuine Mānuka honey, look for products with the trademark UMF. UMF is a reputable trademark that indicates quality and safety.

The UMF trademark can only be issued in New Zealand. This means the honey is harvested and packed in New Zealand.

After packing, UMF Mānuka honey is tested severally to ascertain its quality and content. This testing process helps to ensure that the honey is pure and natural Mānuka honey as is indicated on the label.

How To Identify Genuine Mānuka Honey

Mānuka honey from New Zealand is made of unique compounds only found in this type of honey.

Leptosperin is the main compound and its quantity is a good indication of how genuine a batch of Mānuka honey is. The higher the amount of Leptosperin the better the quality of the Mānuka honey is.

UMF Mānuka honey should contain at least 100mg of Leptosperin per every kilogram of honey.

Genuine Mānuka honey also contains methylglyoxal (MG) and Dihydroxyacetone (DHA). All three compounds i.e. Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), methylglyoxal (MG), and Leptosperin help to determine the grade of the Mānuka honey.

Grading Genuine Mānuka Honey

The three types of UMF grades of Mānuka honey include:

  • Low-grade Mānuka: UMF5 to UMF9
  • Medium grade Mānuka: UMF10 to 15
  • High-quality grade Mānuka: UMF16 and above

Checklist To Identify Genuine Mānuka Honey

When shopping, look for the following features to identify genuine Mānuka honey.

  • Check for the UMF trademark, which should be clearly printed at the front of the product label
  • Check that the product is made in New Zealand. New Zealand does not allow the importation of honey into the country
  • Check that the company that sells and manufactures the honey is from New Zealand and has a UMF license and a registered business name
  • Check that the honey is packed and labeled in New Zealand
  • Check that the honey has a UMF rating number ranging from 5-16. The product is not genuine if it does not have the UMF trademark or the rating number

Uses of Mānuka Honey Based on Grades

While Mānuka honey has potent antibacterial properties, different grades are suitable for different uses. The Active Mānuka Honey Association (AMHA) recommends the following:

  • For non-therapeutic purposes, use UMF 0-4
  • For general use, use UMF4-9
  • To restore bacterial balance and promote natural healing, use UMF 10-14
  • For therapeutic purposes, use UMF15 and higher but limit honey intake to 1 tablespoon at a time


Genuine Mānuka honey originates from New Zealand. To get the most from Mānuka honey, take your time to look at the product label for the UMF trademark plus the grading number.

This will tell you the quality level of the honey to ensure that you are paying for real Mānuka honey.