Mar 28, 2018

Buying Manuka Honey? Here’s the *ONE* thing to look for

So you’re at the store looking for the best Manuka Honey for your next cup of tea or recipe, but you’re not sure which is the best. There are a bunch of Manuka jars lining the shelves, and it’s hard to choose. So we’re going to let you in on a secret– none of the other certifications on a bottle of Manuka Honey truly matter, except this one– UMF®.

This logo on the right side of our label (see above) is known as UMF® (Unique Manuka Factor), the internationally recognized gold standard grading system for assessing quality, purity, and authenticity. These are the standards we’re committed to in every single bottle– that’s right, the UMFHA (Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) individually independently tests the levels in every batch so you know exactly what you’re getting. The numbered UMF® rating is a scientific measure of unique properties found in honey made from the nectar of the Manuka tree, indigenous to the forests of New Zealand. It’s the one and only rating system that demands the honey conform to independently verified quantitative standards.

The UMF® certification system has two components. First, it verifies the product in question is genuine Manuka Honey. Second it assigns a number that indicates the level of key beneficial compounds present in the honey. Comvita’s UMF® strength can range from 5+ to 20+, with 20+ indicating the highest level of beneficial compounds. Only UMF® measures the three signature compounds found in genuine Manuka Honey:

Methylglyoxal (MGO)

MGO is the compound chiefly responsible for the antibacterial property of manuka honey and forms the basis of the UMF grading system.


Leptosperin is also found in manuka nectar, and due to its unique abundance in manuka honey has been identified as the most discerning characteristic to distinguish manuka honey from other honey types.


This is in the nectar of manuka flowers and converts into MGO once the bees gather the nectar and turn it into honey.

Together these compounds indicate top quality, authentic Manuka Honey.

Certified UMF® Manuka Honey is one of nature’s most versatile and scarce natural resources. Currently, UMFHA estimates that the majority of all non-UMF honeys labeled “Manuka Honey” on the market are not true to the label as defined by testing nor do they include the beneficial compounds necessary to receive a therapeutic UMF® rating. In fact, Manuka Honey brands labeled as "Active", "Bio-Active", "10+" (without UMF), or "KFactor" don't comply to the same level of quality standards.

Genuine UMF® Manuka Honey complies with all five of the following criteria:

  1. The UMF® symbol (as seen above) is clearly stated on the front label.
  2. It is packed into jars and labeled in New Zealand.
  3. It is from a New Zealand company licensed by UMFHA to use the name UMF®. Comvita is Licensee #1019.
  4. It has the UMF® licensee’s name on the front label.
  5. It has a rating of UMF® 5+ or more.

When you see the UMF label on your bottle, you can be sure that you’re buying the absolutely best quality on the market.