Members Update – August 2016

Members Update – Symposium

International Experts Showcase Research and Classification System

The Association recently showcased its world-leading science programme and Manuka Classification System to a packed auditorium at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. An impressive international line-up of top experts took to the stage to share their findings and research efforts focused on Manuka Honey.

With its unique properties, Manuka Honey (Leptospermum scoparium) has become one of the most researched honeys in the world.

The ‘This is Manuka Honey’ symposium was the culmination of over four years of industry commitment to supporting an international research effort that utilised the latest technology. The outcome has been the development of a classification system that conclusively identifies whether or not a product is genuine Manuka Honey. The classification method identifies the unique properties of manuka through signature markers. The test can be applied to any honey to verify it is true to label.

The primary focus of the research has been on identifying the unique signature compounds found in genuine Manuka Honey and ultimately protecting this important New Zealand product for future generations.

The new Manuka Classification system will now provide the benchmark testing procedures for UMF® Manuka Honey products.

Led from New Zealand, the research programme is internationally recognised.

Leading scientific figures from Australia, the United Kingdom and Japan spoke at the event which attracted a delegation from China’s government inspection and quarantine bureau the JSCIQ.

Keynote speakers included:

Professor Yoji Kato, Principal Investigator, University of Hyogo, Japan, RINZ Japan; Dr Adrian Charlton, Principal Scientist, FERA, UK; Professor Stephan Schwarzinger, University of Bayreuth, CEO ALNuMED Germany; Dr Peter Brooks, Chemistry Senior Lecturer, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia; Tony Wright, General Manager Technical, Comvita New Zealand Limited; Dr Terry Braggins, Executive Director, Analytica Laboratories; Jonathan Stephens, Senior Research Manager, Comvita Innovation; Professor Kerry Loomes, Senior Lecturer, The University of Auckland; Dr Merilyn Manley-Harris, Associate Professor, School of Science University of Waikato; and Dr Kiri McComb, Director for Innovation, Research and Development, Oritain Group Limited.

Each presenter gave an overview of their research area with topics ranging from the discovery of Leptosperin through to the development of a new chemical method for authenticating Manuka Honey.

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