The UMF Honey Association are developing a portable device which tests for the nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium, the native Manuka bush. “It’s about protecting the consumer – reassuring consumers that the Manuka Honey they purchase is authentic” says Margaret Bennett, SummerGlow Apiaries’ co-owner.
The UMF Honey Association worked with Hamilton based Analytica Laboratories and Comvita, to present the Primary Production Select Committee with a portable fluorescent test which can easily show whether a product is genuine Manuka Honey.
For many years the UMF Honey Association has been investing in a science programme aimed at detecting the ‘signature compounds’ found in Manuka Honey. These ‘signature compounds’ - one is Leptosperin – give Manuka Honey its own unique chemical fingerprint.
“The development of this all important chemical fingerprint is based on unique ‘signature compounds’ present in the native bush's nectar and could distinguish monofloral honey made by bees foraging on manuka flowers from other blended or imitation honey,” comments Margaret.
The demand for this unique honey has seen the upsurge in counterfeit Manuka Honey. The UMF Honey Association independent chairman Peter Luxton told politicians that more Manuka Honey was being exported into foreign markets than New Zealand actually produced.
The UMF Honey Association ground breaking research comes as the Ministry of Primary Industries have been putting the pressure on the Manuka Honey industry amongst worldwide criticism from overseas regulators, including China and the UK, for greater scrutiny.
The UMF Honey Association has patented the technology and the device will become available for use throughout the supply chain to indicate whether a product is genuine manuka honey. Use of the device will safeguard consumers worldwide.
About SummerGlow Apiaries:
SummerGlow Apiaries have been beekeeping and producing Manuka Honey for 40 years, and specialising in high activity UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) Manuka Honey for the past 20 years. In particular SummerGlow Apiaries specializes in the highest quality UMF16+.