Making Manuka Honey’s Highest Standards: a Q&A with Comvita’s Head of Research
Comvita is pioneer and global leader in crafting Manuka Honey. So how do we define quality? By shattering old standards of what makes for clean, authentic Manuka Honey. From world-leading sustainable practices, to beekeeping that blends heritage traditions and modern science, to traceability from hive to shelf.
Hear directly from Chief Science Officer, Dr. Jackie Evans, PhD in a Q&A:
How does Comvita gauge the purity of its Manuka Honey?
We test the quality and purity of our Manuka Honey right through the supply chain multiple times using state-of-the-art laboratory and quality testing procedures. Each batch of Manuka Honey undergoes over 30 tests before it is bottled for shipping to our customers!
How does Comvita use science to guarantee the highest quality Manuka Honey on the market?
At Comvita we control the supply chain from hive to home, which means we can guarantee the highest quality Manuka Honey. Working together in harmony with nature and science is what we do best. We have our own Queen Breeding program, breeding elite queens that ensure our hives are healthy and strong. Our own beekeepers tend to our own hives and we carefully nurture the health and welfare of our bees year round so they are in tip top condition and ready to collect honey in the short period of time when the Manuka flowers bloom which is only 6-8 weeks per year. We carefully select and breed Manuka trees that are vigorous, disease free and have high levels of DHA in their nectar needed to make high UMF™ honey.
We carefully choose remote sites, many deep in the forests of New Zealand hillsides, where we place our hives to ensure that they are far from urban areas so the bees can collect only pure Manuka nectar in a safe clean environment to ensure the quality and potency of our Manuka Honey. Learn more about our source here.
Unlike most other Manuka Honey companies we have our own in-house accredited laboratory and quality management teams. We can trace every jar of honey to the hives it came from; we can even tell exactly the date and time of when each pot was filled. This means we can ensure you receive the highest quality, genuine Manuka Honey.
Can you tell us about the in-house lab at Comvita, and what is tested/evaluated at it?
We have around 20 people working in our in-house laboratory and quality teams. We test over 30 different parameters on every honey batch including the unique characteristic compounds for the UMF™ mark and other Manuka Honey markers defined by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries. Learn more about UMF™ certification here.
We also do a range of honey quality and food safety tests and other unique markers not tested by other Manuka Honey companies. All of our testing is undertaken using state-of-the art instruments by qualified scientists and technicians. Our rigorous testing regimes ensure that all of our honey is genuine and true to label and guaranteed to maintain its potency throughout its shelf life.
About Dr. Jackie Evans:
Dr. Jackie Evans, PhD is Chief Science Officer for Comvita. Prior to joining Comvita in 2017, she worked in global clinical development roles in the Pharmaceutical Industry in the United Kingdom, and in national pharmaceutical funding roles with the New Zealand government. She has a First Class honours degree in Microbiology from the University of Reading and a PhD in Virology from University College London, where she studied HIV immunology. At Comvita, she applies her science and clinical research background and skills to advance the science of Comvita’s products, working with the best researchers to deliver the highest quality products backed by science. She is a mom to two girls and lives in the beautiful Bay of Plenty in New Zealand.