Not only does KFactor fail to measure the therapeutic quality of honey but it’s method of measuring ‘purity’ might leave you with a product that isn’t even genuine Manuka honey. One of the good things about using MGO levels as a grading system is that it’s straightforward. Those bubbles you see when you pour hydrogen peroxide on a cut is the peroxide breaking down. KFactor does not measure the antibacterial strength of the Manuka honey. What is Manuka Honey and Why is it Special. UMF also tests for the presence of leptosperin, a natural compound unique to Manuka, to assure purity of the honey. There’s a mathematical relationship between a manuka honey’s concentration of methylglyoxal and its non-peroxide activity, and thus its equivalent UMF rating. MGO and UMF. There’s a mathematical relationship between a manuka honey’s concentration of methylglyoxal and its non-peroxide activity, and thus its equivalent UMF rating. First of all, while all honey in the hive starts with antibacterial activity, they don’t all have it once it’s in the jar. The issue being that Manuka produces identical pollen to other related species (like the Kanuka tree). Hydrogen peroxide also breaks down when exposed to an enzyme found in saliva and blood. These labels are very misleading and are unlikely to offer any of the antibacterial benefits manuka honey is known for. Most honey producers use heat to extract honey from the honeycomb and to pasteurize it. Yep, the same stuff you put on cuts and scrapes as an antiseptic. Methylglyoxal (MGO) is one of the chemical markers of manuka honey. All honey can exhibit antibacterial activity. These grading systems refer to both the peroxide and non-peroxide activity of the honey. The numbers used by UMF to reflect the grade of the honey typically ranges from 5+ to 20+. It’s independent tests and auditing ensure their honey’s purity and quality. Most premium manuka honey from New Zealand carries a UMF rating. Brands promoting manuka honey that is neither UMF-rated nor MGO-rated include Manuka Doctor, Queen Bee, Wedderspoon, Healing Honey, Y.S. Comparing a 10+ UMF Manuka honey to a KFactor 12 Manuka honey is like comparing apples to oranges. After it breaks down, it loses it’s antibacterial activity. The number reflects the antibiotic strength of the honey relative to the antibiotic strength of phenol. See the UMF Honey Association website for the complete list. * MGO is measured as methylglyoxal mg/kg (ppm), October 2020 New Zealand-USA Export Shipment, October 2020 New Zealand-UK Export Shipment, October 2020 New Zealand-Canada Export Shipment, October 2020 Australia-USA Export Shipment. If you’ve been looking around for Manuka honey, you’ve probably seen a variety of Manuka grading systems: These grading systems are typically a few letters followed by a number ranging from 5+ to 30+. Testing for MGO levels is important as they can vary greatly – not all Manuka honey is equal. We keep you up to date with the latest news and scientific research on Manuka's unique therapeutic qualities and review Manuka products. In fact, it’s not as much a grading system so much as just stating how much methylglyoxal is in the honey. The only thing to keep in mind is that there is no third party testing and verification of these claims so make sure it’s from a company you trust. Graph courtesy Andrew Robinson, The Honey Store. If you’re buying lower grade honey (less than MGO 100) there’s no guarantee that the honey is primarily Manuka honey. This table shows UMF ratings and their MGO equivalents. This is very misleading as the hydrogen peroxide antibacterial activity degrades very quickly when exposed to fluids, heat, and sunlight. You can find UMF Manuka honey of 30+ or higher but these are rare. If you’re in the later group, steer clear of brands that use these confusing and borderline misleading grading systems. So, if the honey has a high level of NPA, you can be confident that it’s genuine Manuka honey. It’s relatively easy for any company to get their honey tested and put the results on their label. Honey with higher numbers has the same qualities as that with lower numbers, but is … While most honey contains small amounts of MGO (typically 0 to 7mg/kg), Manuka honey can contain more than 100 times the MGO found in normal honey. However, most people are interested in Manuka honey’s unique antibacterial characteristics. That probably means the grading systems are all the same and a 10+ UMF Manuka honey is basically the same as a KFactor 12 Manuka honey, right? According to the UMFHA, 100mg/kg of leptosperin is enough to guarantee that the honey is genuine Manuka. Set aside the seemingly arbitrary numbers for the KFactor grading system for a minute and consider this. Enter a manuka honey MGO rating in mg/kg or ppm. MGO numbers can be seen typically from MGO 83+ to MGO 1000+. Comvita, Happy Valley, Melora, Taku Honey, Wild Cape, Manukora, ApiHealth and many others. What makes methylglyoxal special is that it’s resistant to heat and it does not degrade when exposed to saliva and blood like hydrogen peroxide does making it much more effective. Secondly, and more importantly, in 1981 researchers from the New Zealand University of Waikato discovered that even after the hydrogen peroxide in Manuka honey was neutralized, it still exhibited strong antibacterial activity. It’s often found that when when these honeys are independently tested, they exhibit very little NPA if any at all. We’ll also let you know which grading systems you can trust and which ones are downright misleading. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor and is one of the best grading systems out there. For the purposes of comparing MGO and UMF manuka honey, we assume a honey’s UMF rating is equivalent to its non-peroxide activity. If all you care about is the taste of Manuka honey (and it tastes wonderful) then these grading systems will serve you just fine. Gordana, manuka honey with MGO content of 550 mg/kg would be rated UMF 15+, provided it also contained 460mg/kg of leptosperin. The MGO grading system is managed by Manuka Health New Zealand Limited. UMF Manuka honey is some of the most trusted Manuka honey around, and for good reason. UMF measures levels of MGO and DHA in Manuka honey to determine its NPA which is arguably the most reliable method. UMF and MGO manuka honey is available world-wide. Use our free UMF-MGO calculator to compare UMF and MGO manuka honey. Leptosperin is the marker that confirms genuine manuka honey, identified by recent scientific research. However, the UMF grading system also measures NPA (non-peroxide activity) which represents the industry’s standard phenol disinfectant.
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