What Are The Different Manuka Honey Certification Methods?

20 December 2022

Although monofloral Mānuka honey is a very specific type of honey, extensive testing and verification is involved to ensure purity. As a growing business, you want to make sure that you’re sourcing the very best Mānuka honey on the market for your customers. Midlands Apiaries can provide you with premium wholesale Mānuka honey for your brand that does not fall below any of the key standards of quality.

As a way of sharpening your Mānuka honey industry knowledge, this article will go through several different certification methods. Some are used widely, others less so. Nevertheless, we will also conclude by defining which method is the best for ensuring you receive the most premium Mānuka honey on the market. 


Why Is Certification Important For My Manuka Honey Brand? 

As a business striving to do well in the Mānuka honey business, you should be aware of high-quality products to ensure your customers remain happy and loyal. Midlands Apiaries prioritises quality above all else. What are these certifications, exactly? Most of them tend to measure the concentration of key ingredients and consider the genetic/chemical components within for authenticity. 

For any monofloral Mānuka honey to be certified as genuine, the New Zealand Government (through the Ministry of Primary Industries) requires a sample to include the following baseline concentrations of the following chemicals and DNA attributes: 

  • DNA from Mānuka pollen
  • 3-Phenyllactic acid
  • 2’-Methoxyacetophenone
  • 2-Methoxybenzoic acid
  • 4-Hydroxyphenyllactic acid

The test for monofloral Mānuka honey requires all five attributes. If the honey fails to meet one or more of the attributes, it is not monofloral Mānuka honey.


What Is K-Factor in Pure Manuka Honey?

K-Factor is a very rarely used measurement system that considers the pollen count of Mānuka honey. While the pollen count is an excellent identifier for marking genuine Mānuka honey, this method does not consider the concentrations of the bioactive ingredients that have been suggested to give the honey its unique properties. 

While there is an aspect of this certification that shows the authenticity of Mānuka honey, the pollen for Mānuka and Kanuka honey are identical. As a result, you will need more than pollen to absolutely declare the honey is solely (or primarily) harvested from the Mānuka flower. 


What Is The NPA Concentration in Pure Manuka Honey?

NPA, or non-peroxide activity, refers to the supposed antibacterial activity that has been suggested to occur within raw monofloral Mānuka honey. Peroxide activity is a commonly measured feature of many honey varieties but what makes Mānuka honey so unique is that antiseptic properties occur without the presence of peroxide. 

Primarily, NPA refers to the presence of two chemicals, methylglyoxal (MGO) and dihydroxyacetone (DHA). This rating will tend to come in a number that determines the supposed antibacterial effect compared to peroxide activity. 


Why Does MGO Concentration Matter For Pure Manuka Honey?

Often, Mānuka honey products will show their MGO concentration on the label. For many customers, the MGO level alone is enough for them to justify the purchase of a raw Mānuka honey product. For monofloral Mānuka honey, there is an expectation that a genuine Mānuka honey product should have a concentration of at least 80mg/kg. 

As for how high the range goes, this can be well over 1000mg/kg. At Midlands Apiaries, we have provided ultra-rare Mānuka honey products that have achieved levels of 1818+mg/kg. A knowledgeable Mānuka honey customer will also be aware that MGO is a driving factor for the price, i.e. the higher the MGO, the higher the price. 

MGO has been suggested by some within the scientific community to showcase very unique antibacterial properties that are seldom seen in other honey varieties. As mentioned above, MGO is a key driver of the non-peroxide antibacterial activity within Mānuka honey, which is a rare feature - making Mānuka honey one of the most sought-after honey varieties in the world.


Why Is UMF™ Considered To Be The Gold Standard For Monofloral Manuka Honey? 

The Unique Mānuka Factor (UMF™) is inarguably the most solid and robust method for grading, certifying, and validating monofloral Mānuka honey. What makes UMF™ so special? Several reasons make this certification so unique. Firstly, UMF considers nearly every important aspect of Mānuka honey that can be measured. These aspects include authenticity, shelf-life, potency, and freshness.

UMF™ is the only standard that independently assures the quality of New Zealand Mānuka honey so consumers worldwide can be confident in the strength and purity of each jar they buy. Each Mānuka honey product with the UMF™ trademark must pass stringent Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMF™HA) quality, grading, and rating tests.


Midlands Apiaries Can Provide You With 100% Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey

Midlands Apiaries is the perfect partner for your brand. Wherever your business sits in a specific industry, i.e. skincare, natural foods, or genuine Mānuka honey provider - we have all the latest technology and expertise to deliver what you want and when you need it. In addition, our widespread Mānuka honey supply and production operations can work with you to achieve your goals. 

We also offer the services of a highly knowledgeable sales & marketing team. So, if you’re looking to bring a fantastic brand to market, our team of professionals can plan a pathway to your launch. With an extensive network of honey supplies and laboratories - Midlands Apiaries can provide your business with everything it needs.

Additionally, as the largest New Zealand supplier of wholesale Mānuka honey globally, Midlands Apiaries knows a thing or two about quality. An accredited, independent laboratory tests each batch of Mānuka honey from Midlands Apiaries for certification. We are very aware of the stringent requirements set forth by UMF™HA. Our undeniable expertise in crafting Mānuka honey will give your business the necessary confidence to consistently deliver quality products. 

Get in touch with us today for more information about how Midlands Apiaries can make for a beneficial partner in your budding business.



  1. El-Senduny, F. F., Hegazi, N. M., Abd Elghani, G. E., & Farag, M. A. (2021). Manuka honey, a unique mono-floral honey. A comprehensive review of its bioactives, metabolism, action mechanisms, and therapeutic merits. Food Bioscience42, 101038. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fbio.2021.101038 


"Midlands Apiaries can provide you with premium wholesale Manuka honey."