The AMHA Mark of Authenticity signifies that the honey product has been tested and approved according to the Association’s Criteria for Defining Authentic Australian Manuka Honey.
In order to provide consumers of Manuka honey with absolute confidence that the honey they are purchasing is pure 100% Australian Manuka, the AMHA provide its Mark of Authenticity service.
MGO is the centerpiece of the AMHA’s Australian Manuka honey rating system.
Honey that carries the AMHA’s Mark of Authenticity must be pure, natural Manuka honey, produced entirely in Australia, and be tested by an independent, approved laboratory to ensure it meets minimum standards of naturally occurring methylglyoxal (MGO), and dihydroxyacetone (DHA).
These compounds are all naturally occurring exclusively in authentic Manuka. The level of MGO determines the antibacterial potency of the honey, while the amount of DHA shows that this potency was produced naturally as the bees collected nectar from active Manuka plants.
This is in line with changing international standards and labelling requirements. Large international retailers, such as Holland and Barrett (one of the UK’s largest health food retailers with a growing presence in Europe and Asia), are moving away from the UMF® system, to MGO ratings and are likely to phase out UMF® labelling in preference for analytical testing of MGO using sophisticated methods.
The AMHA Quality Marks provide a terrific opportunity to promote your Manuka honey and simultaneously helps to reassure your customers that they are purchasing real Manuka honey, and the meaning of these marks is described below:
All honey defined and labelled as AMHA AUTHENTIC Manuka must be produced in Australia, and be tested by an independent approved laboratory to ensure that it meets the following criteria when packed:
Much of the Manuka honey produced in Australia and New Zealand does not neatly fit into the definition based on current chemical markers. This is due to regional variation in the honey crop. Where a product does not qualify for the higher grades, due to this regional variation, we authorise the producer to use this mark on the basis of their expertise as honey producers. There is research currently ongoing into the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of these grades.
All honey defined and labelled as AMHA AUTHORISED must be produced in Australia, and be tested by an independent approved laboratory to ensure that it meets the following criteria when packed:
Be produced and managed in a way that ensures the identity of the honey, as harvested by bees from the nectar of Leptospermum spp is preserved. This can include flow diaries, colour, flavour and pollen analysis.
Dr Peter Brooks has conducted research into Manuka markers since 2013 and his research has shown that Leptosperin is found within all Australian and New Zealand Manuka honey.
The patent for commercial use of Leptosperin is owned by Dr Yoji Kato who has licensed it to the UMFHA. AMHA are currently in discussions with UMFHA and Dr Kato on the suitability of Leptosperin as a marker for New Zealand manuka, given that it is found in all Australian species.
We investigate Leptosperin content when reviewing allegations of adulterated product but as MGO directly indicates the potency, requiring Leptosperin testing on each batch is an additional expense that we do not wish to burden our members with. The industry is currently researching additional markers that indicate the origin as 100% Australian Manuka honey.