New Independent Lab Tests Show Some Manuka Honey Brands Fall Well Short Of Marketing Claims About Antibacterial Potency & Fail To Meet Exacting New Zealand Standards
Study Commissioned To Help Hold Manufacturers Accountable As Manuka Honey Category Takes Off In U.S.
New independent lab tests commissioned by Pacific Resources International (PRI), the first company to import Manuka Honey to America more than 30 years ago, reveals that some prominent brands routinely mislead consumers about their potency and fail to meet New Zealand’s exacting manufacturing standards.
The tests were conducted on behalf of PRI by England’s respected Fera Science Limited – a century-old international center for interdisciplinary investigation and problem solving spanning the realms of plant and bee health, crop protection, sustainable agriculture, food and chemical safety in the environment.
Determined to shed light on misleading marketing and labeling practices in the Manuka Honey category as this prized natural wonder takes hold in the U.S. marketplace, PRI requested that Fera test various products for their levels of methylglyoxal (MG) – the naturally-occurring antibacterial-rich property that sets Manuka Honey apart from traditional honey. Since only Manuka Honey contains MG levels of 70 and higher (with non-Manuka honey falling in the 0-5mg/kg range), the presence of high MG numbers along with such important designations as UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), among other recognized designations, ensures that a given product is in fact genuine, antibacterial-rich Manuka Honey.
Unfortunately, as the test results show, some of the top Manuka Honey products currently sold by such major U.S. retailers as Costco and Sprouts (and available through numerous other markets and online sites) contain far lower MG levels than their labels would suggest. Among the findings:
Wedderspoon KFactor 16
Found to have very low levels of the chemicals which give Manuka its unique properties with an MG level of about 45. What’s more, Wedderspoon – along with several other brands – attempts to validate the purity and effectiveness of their products by relying on pollen counts such as “KFactor” which are not recognized or approved by New Zealand’s oversight authorities.
Manuka Doctor 20+
Sold at Sprouts and elsewhere, this product was found to have MG levels so low they didn’t even register – suggesting it may not contain actual Manuka at all.
The Fera Science tests, however, found: PRI 10+ (Pacific Resources International), which should have an MG of 75, actually registered at 93, and many other PRI products independently tested also met or exceeded required MG levels. In addition, Melora Manuka Honey likewise exceeded required levels by a good margin.
New Zealand Says “Enough Is Enough!”
Given the growing proliferation of misleading and outright fake Manuka Honey products on the global market today (some not even from New Zealand!), the New Zealand government has advised that new Manuka Honey labeling requirements for export will be enforced beginning February 5 of this year. The new regulations stipulate that all Manuka will be tested for four chemical markers and one DNA marker to ensure purity.
Commented New Zealand Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, “This is an important step in safeguarding the value of our Manuka trade and our reputation for selling high-quality products that are what they say they are.”
The Magic Of Manuka
Thanks to the rapidly-growing popularity of Manuka Honey, millions of people in the Western world now know what New Zealand natives have known for centuries – Manuka honey adds life, purity and natural goodness to everything it touches. Rich in hydrogen peroxide and other antibiotic properties not found in any other honey in the world, Manuka Honey today is used to treat wounds, soothe throats, promote gastrointestinal health, minimize acne and prevent tooth decay. And if all that wasn’t enough, it’s also a deliciously nutritious ingredient when cooking or baking as well!
The First Is Still The Best
Some 32 years ago, Pacific Resources International (PRI) was the very first to introduce American consumers to the bountiful health and culinary wonders of UMF certified Non-GMO New Zealand Manuka honey. Today, the company offers a wide range of Manuka Honey products, including Chocolates, Caramels, and Nuggets, as well as pure Pacific Sea Salt from the still-pristine waters off New Zealand.
Committed from day one to providing the very finest and most authentic Manuka Honey possible, PRI already meets and exceeds many of the New Zealand’s new labeling requirements and is the only U.S. provider that supplies a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from independent labs for every jar of Manuka it imports from New Zealand (these reports are available upon request to customers).
Moreover, determined to remain on the cutting edge of Manuka purity and maintain its longstanding commitment to complete transparency, after February 5, PRI will also supply the new Government test along with a COA for every jar of Manuka Honey imported from New Zealand for consumer assurance.
Commented PRI Founder and CEO David Noll, “PRI is happy the New Zealand Government is taking further steps to define what ‘true’ Manuka Honey actually is. As this recent Fera Science test demonstrates, our industry is being diluted and diminished by several falsely-advertised products, and we look forward to one day seeing the industry as pure and untarnished as Manuka Honey itself.”
For more information, please visit www.shoppri.com.