From hive to lab to jar: Australian manuka honey


    Manuka honey has become a sought-after superfood, celebrated for its numerous health benefits and medicinal value. According to Hegazi, et al. (2021), it is unique from other honey types due to its clinically proven antimicrobial and wound-healing properties.

    It also has a very broad range of applications (such as food, cosmetics, and natural health products), placing it in very high demand. However, increasing demand for this golden elixir has led to concerns about the authenticity of products available on the market.

    According to a recent article in The Guardian, an investigation by the European Commission into fraudulent claims by honey companies in the UK found that 46% of sampled products were revealed to contain ‘extraneous sugar sources’ i.e. cheap sugar syrup (Ungoed-Thomas, 2023).

    Consumers uneducated about the sources and strict guidelines for Manuka honey are being deceived by clever packaging and marketing tactics by big honey companies with their much cheaper prices. This undermines the quality authentic honey producers provide, and they face unfair competition from businesses with inferior products.

    At Biosota Organics, we understand the importance of delivering pure and genuine Manuka honey to our customers. Although there is no universal test to establish honey’s authenticity, we go above and beyond to ensure our Manuka honey is pure and high quality. No other honey in the world is so rare and unique that it needs to pass by a lab before being sold.

    Below, we will detail the rigorous lab testing procedures we implement to ensure the quality and authenticity of our Australian Manuka honey so that you can have complete confidence in our product.

    The scientific validation of quality Manuka honey

    Manuka honey, both monofloral and the multifloral kinds, are native to Australia and New Zealand and are exported all over the world. This nutritional and medicinal food exhibits anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and anti-fungal properties. 

    These properties depend on two attributes of the nectar collected by the bees from Manuka or Leptospermum flowers. The presence of DHA (dihydroxyacetone) and MGO (methylglyoxal) in honey determines the strength and purity of the Manuka honey (Atrott et al. 2012).

    The Manuka honey grading system

    In Australia and New Zealand - the native homes of Manuka honey - are established unique markers for honey quality. These are called ULF (Unique Leptospermum Factor) in Australia and UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) in New Zealand.

    These markers provide consumers with insights into the strength and purity of their Manuka honey, indicating the presence of the key bio-active compounds DHA and MGO. Researchers from Japan have found that Manuka honey can be authenticated by measuring leptosperin with methyl syringate (Kato et al. 2014). This makes it possible to differentiate between blended, regular, and naturally-occurring Manuka honey.

    The traceability and transparency of our monofloral  Manuka honey sources

    While we monitor our honey’s journey from hive to jar, rather than being in controlled environments like Manuka plantation farms, our bees freely collect nectar within a five-kilometre radius of their hive sites, which are situated in national state forests and parks.

    For Australian monofloral Manuka, it’s essential that at least 50% of the nectar comes from the Manuka flower. Our medicinal Manuka honey, particularly grades MGO 260+ and higher, is classified as monofloral as such high concentrations of antibacterial MGO in Manuka honey can be considered a reliable indicator of its monofloral origins.

    Biosota’s independent lab testing for Manuka honey

    Biosota Premium Australian Manuka Honey tested in labs

    We take the authenticity of our Manuka honey very seriously. Our honey batches undergo independent testing at Analytica Laboratories, a leading honey-testing facility in New Zealand. Our Manuka honey is tested for authenticity, purity, and MGO strength. The higher the MGO number, the greater the potency and medicinal value.

    The lab employs advanced techniques like High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to analyse samples for DHA, MGO, HMF and leptosperin, ensuring the accuracy of our honey's potency (Analytica, 2021).

    This comprehensive analysis not only tests the honey’s potency but also the absence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and glyphosate insecticides. The lab uses unique identifying barcodes and ensures the anonymity of the testing process to eliminate potential biases.

    The C4 Sugar Screening test and the 3-in-1 test developed by Analytica further validate the purity of our honey. After testing is complete, we are then provided with a certificate of authenticity by Analytic Laboratories.

    These lab reports can be viewed on our Manuka honey production pages under the Certificate of Authenticity tab.

    Choose high quality Manuka honey

    MGO content and a ULF label are the most reliable ways to confirm the quality of the honey you buy. We are proud members of the Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA), which means we adhere to stringent quality standards for our products.

    This certification is a testament to our commitment to providing our customers with a genuine and high-quality product. Choosing Biosota Manuka honey means choosing authenticity backed by rigorous lab testing and a commitment to quality.

    Our dedication to transparency, traceability, and adherence to international standards sets us apart in delivering the purest Manuka honey experience. With every jar, Biosota brings the essence of Australian Manuka, ensuring you enjoy the full spectrum of health benefits associated with this extraordinary honey.


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