Table of Contents
In recent years, the popularity of honey as a natural sweetener and health product has increased. However, with the rise of counterfeit honey on the market, it is important to be able to distinguish real honey from fake honey. This is especially crucial when it comes to Manuka honey, which contains unique beneficial compounds such as MGO and Leptosperin. In this article, we will explore three ways to verify the authenticity of your honey and ensure that you are getting real Manuka honey from New Zealand.
Why is it important to use real honey?
Real honey, especially Manuka honey, is packed with nutrients and offers numerous health benefits. It contains compounds like MGO, which has organic antibacterial properties, and Leptosperin, which has antioxidant properties. These compounds are found exclusively in Manuka honey and provide various health benefits. Additionally, real honey is a natural sweetener that is commonly used as an alternative to artificial sweeteners and processed sugars.
On the other hand, fake honey is often adulterated with additives and preservatives. It may contain ingredients like glucose, dextrose, molasses, added sugar, sugar syrup, and invert sugar to enhance sweetness or compensate for lower levels of real honey. Fake honey may also undergo processing that depletes its nutrients. As a result, fake honey is packed with sugar and lacks the beneficial compounds found in real honey.
Signs that your honey isn’t real
If you suspect that your Manuka honey is not authentic, there are several signs you can look out for. First, genuine Manuka honey should have a creamy, thick, and rich consistency. It should also have a golden to dark color. If your honey does not match these characteristics, it may not be real Manuka honey.
To further verify the authenticity of your honey, you can perform three tests at home.
1. The Consistency Test
The consistency test involves checking the thickness of your honey. If your honey has become thin due to warm temperatures, you can place it in the refrigerator overnight. Real Manuka honey will return to its original thick consistency in the morning.
2. The Water Test
The water test requires dropping a small amount of honey into a cold glass of water. If your honey is genuine Manuka honey, it will hold its shape and sink to the bottom of the glass. On the other hand, fake honey will typically dissolve into the water, similar to how chocolate syrup dissolves in cold milk.
3. The Thumb Test
The thumb test involves checking the thickness and stickiness of your honey. Real honey is thick and sticky, so when you apply a drop of honey onto your thumb and wait, it should stay in place and not run down your hand. If your honey is thin and runny, it is likely not authentic Manuka honey.
How to verify your honey
While the home tests mentioned above can help you determine if your honey is real, it is easier and more reliable to ensure that you are getting authentic honey from a trusted source. Here are a few things you can do to verify the authenticity of your honey:
Examine the Packaging
Take a close look at the jar and packaging of your Manuka honey product. Transparent and authentic honey companies will prominently display the MGO or UMF potency on the packaging. Make sure that the label includes an MGO or UMF rating. Be cautious of other numbers that are not MGO or UMF, as they may indicate a lower quality or fake honey.
Check for QR Codes
Manukora honey, for example, always includes a QR code on its packaging. Scanning this QR code with your smartphone will provide you with a wealth of information about the authenticity, potency, and even the specific hive and beekeeper responsible for your honey. The QR code can provide the following information:
- Confirmation of authenticity
- Batch number of the product
- Harvest region
- Beekeeper information
- Third-party batch test results for MGO and Leptosperin
- Third-party batch results to ensure glyphosate residue-free honey
- Potency of the Manuka honey in the product
Not all Manuka honey distributors provide QR codes with their products, so it is important to choose a trusted source that prioritizes transparency and provides comprehensive information about their honey.
What makes Manuka honey special?
Manuka honey is unique compared to other types of honey because it is derived exclusively from the nectar of Manuka tea trees found in New Zealand. Unlike multifloral honey, which gathers nectar from various plants and flowers, Manuka honey is monofloral, meaning it comes solely from one flower species. This distinction gives Manuka honey its distinctive properties and benefits.
Our favorite benefits of Manuka honey
Manuka honey offers numerous wellness benefits compared to other types of honey. Some of these benefits include:
- MGO: Manuka honey contains Methylglyoxal (MGO), which has natural antibacterial properties.
- Leptosperin: Manuka honey contains Leptosperin, which has antioxidant properties that support immunity.
- Prebiotics: Manuka honey contains oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics and support gut health.
Incorporating Manuka honey into your daily routine can provide these benefits and more. Whether you enjoy it as a sweetener, a morning ritual, or a topping for your favorite foods, Manuka honey is a delicious and nutritious addition to any lifestyle.
Verifying the authenticity of your honey, especially Manuka honey, is crucial to ensure that you are getting the real and beneficial product. While there are home tests that can help you determine if your honey is authentic, it is best to choose a trusted source that provides transparent information about their honey. By examining the packaging, looking for QR codes, and choosing a reputable brand, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are getting genuine Manuka honey. So go ahead, enjoy the taste and benefits of real Manuka honey from New Zealand’s Golden Triangle.
Why is Manuka honey unique compared to other types of honey?
Manuka honey is derived exclusively from the nectar of Manuka tea trees found in New Zealand, making it a monofloral honey. This gives it unique properties and benefits not found in other types of honey.
Are there any side effects to consuming Manuka honey?
Manuka honey is generally safe for consumption. However, individual reactions can vary, so it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have allergies or are unsure about incorporating new products into your diet.
Is there a specific way to store Manuka honey to retain its benefits?
Manuka honey should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It does not require refrigeration but keeping it at a consistent temperature can help preserve its properties and consistency.
How often should I consume Manuka honey for optimal benefits?
The optimal amount and frequency of consuming Manuka honey depend on individual preferences and desired benefits. A teaspoon a day is a good starting point for general wellness. If you are unsure, it is best to consult with a nutritionist or healthcare provider.