UMF Manuka Honey Grading System Explained

Manuka honey rating system explained

The Manuka Honey UMF Grading System Explained

The demand for Manuka honey has surged over the years, with its unique flavor profile and numerous health benefits. However, one aspect that often perplexes consumers and enthusiasts is the Manuka UMF rating system.

UMF™ is the most comprehensive, independently certified, and internationally recognized quality assurance grading system for New Zealand manuka honey. It’s designed to validate mānuka honey potency, quality, authenticity, purity, shelf life, and freshness for honey producers and customers alike. UMF.ORG

In this article, we delve deep into the intricacies of the Manuka UMF honey grading system, helping you make informed choices when purchasing this liquid gold.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a type of honey produced by bees that forage on the nectar of the Manuka tree (Leptospermum Scoparium), native to New Zealand and some parts of Australia.

What makes it unique is its high concentration of methylglyoxal (MGO), a compound responsible for many of its touted health benefits.

The Unique Qualities of Manuka Honey

  • Distinctive Flavor: Manuka honey is renowned for its robust, earthy flavor with a hint of bitterness, setting it apart from the milder taste of traditional honey.
  • Potential Health Benefits: Studies suggest that Manuka honey may have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties, making it a popular choice for medicinal use.

The Manuka Grading System Explained

The Manuka rating system is designed to provide consumers with information about the quality and authenticity of the honey they are purchasing. It primarily focuses on two key components: the MGO rating and the UMF rating.

MGO (Methylglyoxal) Rating

MGO, or methylglyoxal, is a naturally occurring compound found in varying concentrations in Manuka honey. It is responsible for the honey’s antibacterial properties.

What the MGO Rating Indicates:

The MGO rating quantifies the concentration of methylglyoxal in the honey, typically measured in milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg). The higher the MGO rating, the more potent the honey’s potential health benefits.

UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) Rating

The UMF rating is another essential aspect of the grading system, providing additional information about the honey’s quality.

What the UMF Rating Indicates:

UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) Manuka honey is renowned for its unique composition, which includes several key compounds that contribute to its exceptional properties. The main compounds found in UMF Manuka honey are:

Methylglyoxal (MGO): MGO is perhaps the most significant compound in UMF Manuka honey. It is responsible for the honey’s potent antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. The concentration of MGO varies in different UMF-rated Manuka honeys, with higher ratings indicating higher MGO levels.

Leptosperin: Leptosperin is a naturally occurring compound found only in the nectar of the Manuka flower. It serves as a marker of Manuka honey’s authenticity, as it is not present in other types of honey.

Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): DHA is a precursor to MGO and is naturally found in the nectar of Manuka flowers. During the honey-making process, DHA is converted into MGO, contributing to the honey’s unique properties.

Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF): HMF is a compound that forms when honey is heated or stored for extended periods. UMF Manuka honey typically has low levels of HMF, indicating its freshness and quality.

Phenolic Compounds: Manuka honey contains a range of phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties. These compounds contribute to the honey’s potential health benefits and may protect against oxidative stress.

Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals found in Manuka honey that are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. They play a role in supporting overall health.

These compounds work synergistically to give UMF Manuka honey its distinctive flavor, antimicrobial properties, and potential health benefits. The unique combination of MGO, leptospira, and other bioactive compounds makes UMF Manuka honey a sought-after natural remedy and culinary delight.

Deciphering the Gading Labels

UMF 5+ Manuka Honey

UMF Rating: UMF 5+ signifies that the honey has a minimum Unique Manuka Factor rating of 5.

Benefits: While UMF 5+ Manuka honey may have a lower UMF rating compared to higher grades, it still offers several benefits. It can be a good option for those looking to enjoy the unique taste of Manuka honey without needing its full therapeutic properties. It may provide mild antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects.

Common Uses: UMF 5+ Manuka honey is often used as a natural sweetener in tea or recipes. It can also be applied topically on minor wounds or burns for its mild healing properties.

UMF 10+ Manuka Honey

UMF Rating: UMF 10+ indicates a higher level of Unique Manuka Factor, with a minimum rating of 10.

Benefits: UMF 10+ Manuka honey offers stronger antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties compared to UMF 5+. It is known to support overall well-being and immune health. This grade is also considered effective for soothing sore throats and promoting digestive health.

Common Uses: UMF 10+ Manuka honey is suitable for daily consumption to boost your immune system. It’s often consumed straight from the spoon, added to hot water with lemon for a soothing drink, or used as a natural sweetener in recipes.

UMF 15+ Manuka Honey

UMF Rating: UMF 15+ represents a higher level of Unique Manuka Factor, with a minimum rating of 15.

Benefits: UMF 15+ Manuka honey is considered a premium grade with potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is highly sought after for its potential to support wound healing, skin health, and digestive wellness. This grade offers a more robust range of health benefits.

Common Uses: UMF 15+ Manuka honey is often used medicinally to aid in wound healing and skin conditions. It can also be taken internally to support digestive health and boost the immune system.

UMF 20+ Manuka Honey

UMF Rating: UMF 20+ is the highest grade of Manuka honey, with a minimum Unique Manuka Factor rating of 20.

Benefits: UMF 20+ Manuka honey is the pinnacle of Manuka honey quality. It possesses the most potent antibacterial properties and is often used for its exceptional wound-healing capabilities. It is believed to be highly effective against various bacteria and infections.

Common Uses: UMF 20+ Manuka honey is primarily used for medicinal purposes. It’s applied topically to treat wounds, burns, and skin conditions, providing rapid relief and aiding in tissue regeneration. When ingested, it can offer powerful immune support and assist in managing severe sore throats and digestive issues.

In conclusion, the UMF ratings of Manuka honey correspond to the honey’s quality, potency, and potential health benefits. The higher the UMF rating, the more versatile and potent the honey becomes, making it suitable for a range of health and culinary applications.

When choosing the right UMF grade, consider your specific needs and preferences to fully enjoy the remarkable benefits of Manuka honey.

Ensuring Authenticity

As the demand for Manuka honey has grown, so too has the risk of encountering counterfeit or adulterated products. To ensure you’re purchasing authentic Manuka honey, consider the following tips:

  • Check for Certification: Look for products with reputable certification bodies, such as the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) or the New Zealand Manuka Honey Appellation Society (NZMHAS).
  • Inspect the Label: Examine the label for clear indications of the UMF or MGO rating, as well as the honey’s country of origin.
  • Trustworthy Suppliers: Buy from trusted suppliers and brands with a proven track record of delivering genuine Manuka honey.

In Summary

The Manuka UMF honey grading system plays a pivotal role in helping consumers navigate the world of Manuka honey. By understanding the significance of MGO and UMF ratings, you can make better-informed choices when purchasing this exceptional product.

Remember to prioritize authenticity and certification to ensure you’re enjoying the true benefits of genuine Manuka honey.

If you’re in search of premium honey, our selection of UMF™ Manuka Honey is a must-see.

Latest Posts
The many versatile uses of Tiaki Manuka UMF Honey

Versatile Uses of Manuka Honey

The Versatile Uses of Tiaki Manuka UMF Honey Manuka honey is renowned for its health benefits, but did you know

Your guide to manuka UMF honey gold standard

Your Guide To Manuka Honey

Your Guide to UMF™ Manuka Honey: Understanding the Gold Standard UMF™ Manuka honey is renowned for its exceptional quality and

The journey of manuka umf honey from hive to jar

Manuka Honey Journey

The Manuka Honey Journey From Hive to Jar In the lush landscapes of New Zealand, a unique treasure is found:

Tiaki UMF Manuka Honey quality assurance

Manuka Honey Quality Assurance

Understanding the UMF Quality Assurance System In the world of Manuka honey, the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) Quality Assurance System

Manuka honey DIY face masks

Manuka Honey Face Masks

5 Manuka Honey Face Masks for Glowing Skin Embark on a journey to radiant and rejuvenated skin with the natural


Post-Holiday Detox with Manuka Honey

Post-Holiday Detox with Manuka Honey In the relentless pursuit of optimal health, post-holiday detoxification has become a paramount concern for

Best sellers


Thank you for your subscription.