what is umf

What is UMF A Trusted Mark of Quality for Manuka Honey


Manuka honey is renowned for its unique properties and health benefits. However, not all manuka honey is created equal. The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is a trusted mark of quality that guarantees the authenticity and purity of manuka honey produced in New Zealand. In this article, we will explore what UMF is, how it identifies genuine manuka honey, and why it is important for consumers.

UMF: Unique Manuka Factor

UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor and is a rating system specifically designed for manuka honey. It identifies natural, unadulterated manuka honey produced in New Zealand. The UMF rating system is the only one that is licensed and audited to verify that the honey is true-to-label. As a revered mark of quality, UMF protects the rights of consumers by ensuring they get genuine, high-quality manuka honey.

The UMF Rating System: Identifying and Measuring Genuine Manuka Honey

The UMF rating system independently certifies the natural components found in manuka honey to assure its potency, purity, authenticity, and freshness. The three key unique signature markers of manuka honey – Leptosperin, Methyglyoxal, and DHA – must all be present in the honey. The UMF rating number is based on the combined levels of these key signature markers. The higher the UMF rating, the greater the presence of the unique manuka honey attributes.

Here are the UMF rating categories:

  • Low Grade: UMF5 to UMF9
  • Medium Grade: UMF10 to UMF15
  • Superior High Grade: UMF16 to UMF25

Checklist to Identify Genuine UMF Manuka Honey

To ensure you are purchasing genuine UMF Manuka Honey, here is a checklist to follow:

  1. It has the quality mark UMF clearly stated on the front label.
  2. It is packed into jars and labeled in New Zealand.
  3. It has the UMF Licensee’s brand name and License Number stated on the label.
  4. It has a rating number alongside the quality mark UMF.
  5. It is verified by the Official UMF Certificate, which states the test results for the batch number shown on the jar label. The Official UMF Certificate should include all four tests (Leptosperin + Methylglyoxal + DHA + HMF).

Leptosperin: Identifying Genuine Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is made up of several compounds that are found only in the honey produced from New Zealand’s native manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium). One of the most dominant compounds is Leptosperin, which serves as a good indicator of the “manukaness” of honey. The higher the level of Leptosperin, the greater the presence of the unique manuka honey attributes. Leptosperin gives consumers a means of knowing which honey is genuine Manuka Honey.

Testing for Authenticity: The UMF Guarantee

To ensure the authenticity and quality of UMF Manuka Honey, it undergoes rigorous testing and auditing processes. UMF Manuka Honey must be produced, packed, and labeled in New Zealand. After packing, it must be tested to show that it is natural, unadulterated, and true-to-label. UMF Manuka Honey is regularly audited to provide consumers with confidence in the honey’s authenticity. The Official UMF Certificate is issued to UMF-labeled honey that passes all test criteria and is true-to-label claim.

Manuka Honey: Nature’s Wonderfood

Manuka honey has been recognized for its beneficial health-supporting qualities for thousands of years. It is known for its enzyme activity and superior properties compared to other honeys. The special property present in manuka honey comes from the nectar of the manuka flower and is unique to this variety. The UMF Honey Association has established the UMF quality trademark and rating system to help consumers identify and access the highest quality manuka honey.

Quality Control: Natural, Unadulterated, True-to-Label, 100% New Zealand Made

The UMF standard goes beyond just rating the honey; it includes a range of tests, audits, and controls to ensure that the honey is natural, unadulterated, and true-to-label. UMF Manuka Honey from a New Zealand company licensed to use the trademark UMF is audited and monitored to ensure its quality and authenticity. When you choose UMF Manuka Honey from a licensed New Zealand company, you can be confident that you are getting a genuine, high-quality product.

UMF Licensees and Guarantee

The UMF and “Unique Manuka Factor” are quality trademarks owned by the UMF Honey Association and can only be used by licensed users who meet specific criteria. SummerGlow Apiaries Ltd, with License Number 1001, was the first company to be registered as a licensee. The UMF guarantee ensures that UMF-labeled honey is natural, unadulterated, produced in New Zealand, and has the special manuka property to the level indicated on the label.

International Verification Laboratories

The UMF Honey Association is establishing verification laboratories in several countries worldwide. These laboratories use the same tests and quality control programs to produce consistent results. Consumers and buyers can have honey tested at these laboratories to know the quality of the product they are purchasing.

Why Only Some Manuka Honey Has the Unique Property

Bees gather manuka honey from the nectar of the flowers of the manuka bush, which is native to New Zealand. The special property present in manuka honey comes from the nectar of the manuka flower and is not present in all manuka honey. It is still not fully understood why only some manuka honey has this unique property. Factors such as the sub-species of manuka or environmental conditions like soil type may contribute to its presence. Ongoing research aims to uncover the reasons behind this variation.

In conclusion, UMF is a trusted mark of quality for manuka honey, guaranteeing its authenticity and purity. The UMF rating system and rigorous testing processes ensure that consumers get genuine, high-grade manuka honey. By choosing UMF-labeled honey from licensed New Zealand companies, consumers can enjoy the unique health benefits of this nature’s wonderfood.

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