What is the Mark of Authenticity?

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.

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. The AMHA provides its members with detailed analytical specifications for quality assuring 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.

The Association’s Scientific Advisory Committee, comprising leading scientists in the field, has established a set of standards that define authentic Australian Manuka honey.

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 labeling 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 ensuring MGO ratings are present on products following analytical testing of MGO using sophisticated modern 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:

AMHA AUTHENTIC

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:
Manuka Specific Analytical Requirements – Scientific Definition AMHA Authentic
Methylglyoxal (MGO)≥ 85 mg/kg (or ppm)
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)≥ 170 mg/kg (or ppm)
Be produced and managed in a way that ensures the identity of the honey, as harvested by bees from the nectar of Leptospermum species. This can include flow diaries, colour, flavour, chemical marker, and pollen analysis.

AMHA AUTHORISED

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 natural 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:
Manuka Specific Analytical Requirements – Scientific Definition AMHA Authorised
Methylglyoxal (MGO)≥ 30 mg/kg (or ppm)
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)≥ 60 mg/kg (or ppm)
Be produced and managed in a way that ensures the identity of the honey, as harvested by bees from the nectar of Leptospermum species. This can include flow diaries, colour, flavour, chemical marker, and pollen analysis.

As Manuka honey can have varying levels of MGO we have developed a specialised AMHA AUTHORISED Manuka honey comb standard that reflects the unknown variability of a comb honey until after it is produced and tested. To create an added level of testing to validate the authenticity of the Manuka honey comb we have added a Leptospermum specific chemical markers that confirms the origin of the comb honey as Manuka.

All honey defined and labelled as AMHA AUTHORISED honey comb must be produced in Australia, and be tested by an independent approved laboratory to ensure that it meets the following criteria when packed:

AMHA AUTHORISED COMB

Manuka Specific Analytical Requirements – Scientific Definition
Methylglyoxal (MGO)≥ 10 mg/kg (or ppm)
Dihydroxyacetone (DHA)≥ 30 mg/kg (or ppm)
3-phenyllactic (3-PLA)> 5 mg/kg
Be produced and managed in a way that ensures the identity of the honey, as harvested by bees from the nectar of Leptospermum species. This can include flow diaries, colour, flavour, chemical marker, and pollen analysis.

Leptosperin: Research update.

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.

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