New Zealand’s value of honey exports went over $350 million in 2018. Since then, this value has been increasing at a rate of 19 percent every year. Meanwhile, most of New Zealand’s honey export (70 to 75%) comes from Manuka Honey. This honey is not only a tasty natural sweetener but also consists of some powerful properties. Due to them, it has come under the category of superfood. And today, you can shop New Zealand Manuka Honey, certified with over 514+ mg/kg of Methylglyoxal, the chief antibacterial component of Manuka Honey. It also helps support the well-being of people, and this honey can be employed for topical issues.
What Is Manuka in Manuka Honey?
Manuka is the name of a tree that’s native to New Zealand. The scientific name of this tree is Leptospermum scoparium, and people can find this tree all over New Zealand. Maori, the indigenous Polynesian inhabitants of New Zealand, identified the Manuka tree’s importance way before modern scientists. This tree has small pointed leaves and white flowers, and the indigenous people used the tree to make traditional Maori medicine in many parts of the country, called Rongoa Maori. They used it for treating burns, wounds, digestive problems, and inflammation.
Why Makes Manuka Honey of New Zealand Different?
Honey is produced when bees gather nectar from flowers. Meanwhile, different kinds of honey have different tastes and colors because of the type of flowers from which bees collect nectars. Likewise, Manuka Honey gets made when bees gather nectar from the Manuka tree. Every other kind of honey consists of many proteins, minerals, vitamins, and flavonoids that make it beneficial. But Manuka Honey offers something extra, as scientists discovered that Manuka Honey was special when they identified the Unique Manuka Factor or UMF. It’s a particular property that makes the Manuka Honey of New Zealand a superfood.
This property is called Methylglyoxal, which is also called MGO or MG. As per research, specific concentrations of MGO minimize bacterial growth. And when applied to the skin, it also alleviates inflammation. Its presence in New Zealand’s Manuka Honey makes it so different from other types of honey.
What to Look for When Searching for Quality Manuka Honey?
Not every Manuka Honey is created the same. So, it’s essential to know what you should look for on its label, irrespective of whether it’s a skincare product or a jar of honey.
- MGO or UMF rating – The first thing you should look for is the MGO or UMF rating on the honey. UMF 10+ or MGO 250+ is regarded as medicinal-grade honey.
- Organic and non-organic honey – Organic label implies that everything the flowers and bees have been in touch with and the honey can be traced. It ensures that there’s no contact with sprays, pesticides, or synthetic chemicals. And certified organic honey guarantees that the entire process of honey production is carried out sustainably.
- Raw – It’s best to shop New Zealand Manuka Honey that’s raw and unpasteurized. Raw means that the honey is processed at a low temperature (less than 47 degrees Celsius). So, there’s no reduction in the number of antioxidants and nutrients in it. On the other hand, honey that’s not raw means that it has been pasteurized at a higher temperature. Thus, it may not contain as many nutrients as one that’s raw.
- Monofloral – If you want a truly pure Manuka Honey, look for the label “monofloral,” as it means that the honey has nectar only from Manuka.
People can use Manuka Honey in different ways. It can be used as a spread on crackers or an ingredient in the food. It’s a nutrient-rich, low-sugar sweetener option you can take as part of a healthy diet.