UMF vs MGO vs K-Factor

Mānuka Honey Certification Comparison

What makes the UMF Rating and Quality mark stand out.  It is all together better. It is the worlds only quality assurance system and the worlds only independent standard. 

No other system comes even close to the lengths of the UMF Honey Association to validate the most important active components, MGO and leptosperrin, and the critical quality factors DHA and HMF which ensure the product is fresh and will deliver expected benefits for the shelf life of the product.  

UMF certified product is packed and sealed for consumers in New Zealand to ensure it retains its purity and freedom from adultueration. Not only that, but to ensure product quality remains true to label, we test product quality in market using our accredited laboratories in USA, UK, and China.  

The UMFHA is committed to traceability and transparency and using the batch and license holder numbers on each UMF certified jar of New Zealand mānuka honey you can trace the product back to the original quality certificate for that jar.  That’s “Quality You Can Trust”.

UMF Icon MGO K-Factor
100% Government Certified New Zealand Mānuka Honey
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
Authenticated Purity
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
Independent Quality Certification
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
4 factor testing & rating
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
MGO Rated
Checked
Checked
Not Checked
Packed & sealed in NZ
Checked
Not Checked
Checked
Batch tracing
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
Independent in market validation
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
International testing network
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
Globally recognised standard
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked
Shelf life validated
Checked
Not Checked
Not Checked

The UMF™ Four Factor Quality Testing

Our comprehensive quality test certifies four key mānuka natural components that ensure it will reach you in the best possible condition to meet your needs. It adds a quality dimension the NZ Government’s important mānuka ID test which identifies whether products are mānuka honey or not.

The Rating System

Real New Zealand mānuka honey contains over 2,300 unique components that contribute to its complex flavour and its remarkable benefits. The UMF™ Four Factor Quality Assurance Test independently certifies the quality factors that matter and summarises them in a single figure. It validates Potency, Authenticity, Freshness, and Purity of honest mānuka honey and verifies the genuine UMF™ rating of each batch.

No other honey undergoes such rigorous testing by a bee-keeper’s country mile. We build on the New Zealand government’s mānuka honey identification tests by ensuring certainty around purity, potency, authenticity and freshness – making the UMF™ rating the only option for anyone seeking independent assurance that their purchase will support their health and wellness.

UMF™ 5+

UMF™ 10+

UMF™ 15+

UMF™ 20+

UMF™ 25+

Choose 5+ to 10+ when

You are looking for a natural sweetener that supports a healthy lifestyle.

Choose 15+ to 20+ when

You are looking for a more potent product to support everyday health and wellness.

Choose 25+ when

You are looking for a higher level of potency with additional nutritional support.

UMF™ 4 Factor Test
MGO
Leptosperin
DHA
HMF
Standard
Purpose
MGO
83 261 512 826 1197

mg

/kg

Potency
Leptosperin
>100 >150 >200 >200 >200

mg

/kg

Authenticity
DHA
150 250 400 500 500

mg

/kg

Shelf life
HMF
<40 <40 <40 <40 <40

mg

/kg

Freshness

Quality Factors that Matter in Mānuka Honey:

MGO for potency

Methylglyoxal, to give it its full name, is the source of golden mānuka honey’s special antibacterial properties and an important potency measure. The higher the MGO, the stronger the concentration of MGO. The UMF™ guarantee means that you can be sure that Mānuka honey bearing the UMF™ mark contains the special activity.

Leptosperin for authenticity

Leptosperin is a compound found only in mānuka flower nectar and can only be created by nature. Measuring this unique component ensures the authenticity of mānuka honey. Laboratory research also shows leptosperin content has anti-inflammatory properties that grows as the UMF™ scale increases.

DHA for shelf life

Dihydroxyacetone (as it’s known to us) is slowly converted to MGO in healthy living honey. The higher the DHA content, the longer the life of the MGO content in your mānuka honey – which is why the best mānuka honey must have more than 70 mg/kg DHA to be UMF™ certified.

HMF for freshness

We test for hydroxymethylfurfural, since this long-named compound assures honey has not been overheated or stored too long, and is in the best condition to maintain the unique blend of living properties in mānuka honey as promised by your favourite supplier.

Our comprehensive laboratory network tests all mānuka honey products before they leave New Zealand to guarantee their effectiveness.

Our partnerships with global standards organisations, laboratories, regulatory officials and research partners ensures the quality of mānuka honey that UMF™ standards are upheld around the world, and New Zealand’s unique mānuka honey is protected.

FAQ

Is MGO equivalent to UMF™?

No, UMF™ is more comprehensive measurement of the quality factors that matter when assessing the quality of a mānuka honey product. MGO is one of four factors measured to ensure consumers around the world get a pure potent genuine New Zealand mānuka honey product that will meet their needs and expectations.

The four factors are:

Methylgloxal (MGO) – a key potency measure for New Zealand mānuka honey.

Leptosperin – a component unique to mānuka honey, created in nature and unable to be added to honey. This makes it an important authenticator of purity.

DHA – A component that converts to MGO over time and therefore in correct amounts ensures that the MGO levels will remain as tested throughout the life of the product.

HMF –indicates whether a honey has been overheated or stored to long which can reduce shelf life and so potency for a purchaser.

Find out more about how the UMFHA rates these components here.

Is UMF™ measured/calculated in the same way as NPA?

No, NPA is a single compound measurement whereas the UMF™ rating is made up of multiple factors essential for validating the true quality of a batch of New Zealand mānuka honey.

What is K factor in mānuka honey?

Rather that rating quality or potency of honey K factor indicates whether a product is manuka hone or not.

K factor 16 is monofloral mānuka honey, certified by the New Zealand government as genuine mānuka honey but not showing a specific activity rating.

K factor 12 is multifloral mānuka honey, identified by the New Zealand government as containing mānuka as a minor nectar source in the honey along with multiple other flower sources.

Is UMF™ 5 equivalent to a 5% phenol bleach solution?

No, the UMF™ rating assesses multiple factors that combine to provide an assurance of quality and potency in NZ mānuka honey.

How can I convert MGO to UMF™ or NPA to UMF™ or vice versa?

MGO /NPA does not convert to UMF™.

The UMF™ grading system measures four unique signature compounds – Leptosperin, DHA, MGO and HMF- that science has proven to be found in pure, authentic, quality New Zealand Mānuka honey.

MGO and NPA are single compounds measures and cannot convert to the UMF™ rating which is a combination of factors selected to assure quality aspects that matter when delivering a quality product to consumers.

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