Unique Mānuka Factor

The Golden Standard in Mānuka Honey

UMF™ is shorthand for the most comprehensive, independently certified and internationally recognised quality assurance system for New Zealand mānuka honey. It’s designed to validate mānuka honey potency, authenticity, purity, shelf life and freshness for honey producers, brands, customers and consumers around the world.

Only one standard independently assures the quality of New Zealand mānuka honey so consumers around the world can be confident in the strength and purity of each jar they buy.

Each mānuka honey product that carries the UMF™ trademark must pass the stringent Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) quality, grading and rating tests.

The UMF™ Quality Assurance System

The UMFHA has been at the forefront of almost three decades of world-leading research to understand the benefits and quality management of mānuka honey.  We’ve identified 2,300+ natural compounds in New Zealand mānuka honey that contribute to its unique taste, texture and support of health & wellness – and make it the best honey in the world.

To produce mānuka honey that can be certified as the world’s finest quality, New Zealand’s honey producers have to adhere to a unique quality system. We are the keepers of that system.

The system builds on the New Zealand government, Ministry of Primary Industries tests that validate all honey sold as mānuka is genuine.

Four Factor Quality Testing

UMF™ means more than simply MGO. Our goal is to ensure that you’re able to easily choose the right mānuka product for your needs, which is why our standard is the only one that tests for the four key elements of mānuka honey: Potency, Authenticity, Shelf Life and Freshness.

100% Pure and Traceable

New Zealand has zero honey imports, which means UMF™ certified honey contains no adulterants. In fact, all retail products with our quality mark are traceable to independent UMFHA licensed suppliers and producers.

This unparalleled assurance system applies strict product standards and testing protocols to confirm the traceability, purity and product quality of authentic 100% New Zealand mānuka honey, so that you know what you’re buying is genuinely produced, packed and sealed in New Zealand.

A Global Network

The UMF™ Quality Assurance System is recognised around the world by regulators and standards authorities. We use a global laboratory network for in-market audits that verify certified honeys retain their quality over time, and all our licensed producers support and commit to this to assure the UMF™ mark. Our network tests product in global market and validates UMF™ mānuka honey quality after leaving New Zealand.

Global Research Partner Network

We continue to expand knowledge of this unique honey only found in New Zealand with research into the health and wellness properties in our exceptional mānuka honey.

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.

NZ Mānuka Honey

The Role of the UMFHA

UMF™ Honey Association members represent nearly 70% of all exported retail packs of mānuka honey products from New Zealand. We recognised the need for people to quickly and confidently identify genuine mānuka honey. That’s why we invested in a world-leading science programme which identified the unique signature compounds found in Mānuka honey.

We also created UMF™ – a quality mark – to clearly show a product has been tested by an independent laboratory to confirm it contains these signature compounds. Our quality mark can be found only on our members’ products.

 

Independence

As a country that is big on land and bees but with a population of only five million people, New Zealand honey producers export more than 75% of the honey produced in New Zealand to at least 40 countries.  Mānuka honey makes up the bulk of New Zealand’s honey exports to people who value the natural benefits as part of their commitment to healthy lifestyles.

With customers across many different regions, it is important they can trust honey that has travelled from New Zealand is pure, authentic and will deliver what is promised on the label.  Independent testing and certification ensures that each jar of honey that carries the UMF™ quality mark and rating has been verified by a third party to be true to label for the life of the product. Valuable information for anyone selecting a mānuka honey to support their health.

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