Quality Standards

The AMHA believes in using reliable, scientific methods to test Manuka honey combined with the age-old practice of good beekeeping.

AMHA recently launched its robust, scientifically based international guidelines that benchmark true Australian Manuka.

Why does the AMHA using MGO as their benchmark for grading?


Leptospermum flowers and the bioactive fraction of Methylglyoxal (MGO) contained in the nectar of these Manuka flowers are the key driving force behind the antibacterial effect of Manuka honey.

Researchers in Germany, at the University of Dresden, were able to identify the active antibacterial component of the honey as MGO. This led MGO to replace NPA as the key indicator of the strength of a Manuka honey. MGO is very accurate and is directly measurable by HPLC, unlike NPA and the old agar plate assay method which is over one hundred years old and prone to error. Reliable MGO testing methods are used in both New Zealand and Australia to indicate the strength and potency of the natural antibacterial Manuka honey.

We recognise that MGO is the most reliable method for informing consumers about the quality of the honey they are buying.

Research in Japan has also identified that there are some unique chemical identifiers present in Leptospermum honeys that are not found in regular honey, which makes it very easy to differentiate between fake product and pure, natural Manuka honey. Scientists have tested Australian Manuka honey for these unique chemical markers, including Leptopserin and Methyl Syringate, and have found them in abundance.

Not all tests are created equal

It is from field to factory and through to the consumer that good Manuka honey is traced. Beekeepers here in Australia keep an accurate record of the flowers their bees are working and harvest each crop separately, so that when the Manuka honey is made it is kept clean and pure. This attention to detail continues from the field to the factory where each batch is independently tested and quality controlled to ensure it adheres to the stated quality standard on the label.

To ensure you get a quality product, we rely on traceability through the supply chain combined with independent laboratory testing to show MGO level.

Australian Manuka honey
Australian Manuka honey

AMHA member standards

All suppliers that are members of the AMHA maintain Certificates of Analysis from independent third party laboratories for all batches of Manuka honey that they produce and market.

Batch records are kept to ensure that Manuka honey can be traced from the shelf in the store all the way back to the apiary it was collected from.

This means that the Manuka honey you buy from Australia can be guaranteed as a pure, natural and authentic Manuka honey product, as we know it was nectar collected by bees from the flowers of the Leptospermum spp species of plant.