By Tristan Hooker/MediaPA
The eagerly awaited “This is Manuka Honey” symposium lived up to expectations for Waikato-based SummerGlow Apiaries, who have long been advocates of clear and honest labelling of genuine, monofloral Manuka Honey.
The ‘This is Manuka Honey’ symposium was held in Auckland on Tuesday 9 August and attracted international interest as leading scientists from New Zealand, Australia, UK, Germany, Japan and China gathered to discuss and showcase emerging research around identifying genuine Manuka Honey.
SummerGlow Apiaries has long been at the forefront of technological advances in the Manuka Honey industry. The family-run company is a founding member of the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) Honey Association, the Association responsible for administering the UMF quality mark identifying pure, genuine Manuka Honey from New Zealand.
James Jeffery of SummerGlow Apiaries, said the symposium showed the commitment the UMF Honey Association has to its members by using the latest and most advanced science to prove that all UMF branded Manuka honey is genuine.
“The science showcased at the symposium was impressive,” said Mr Jeffery. ‘The analytical labs were given free rein with the scientific information. The association simply stood back and allowed the external labs to complete their verification work and report on their findings, the confidence level was so high.”
“The results really spoke for themselves. The scientists each used different analytical techniques but the all came to the same conclusion – that there are compounds unique to Manuka Honey and these compounds are the best way forward in identifying the product.”
The symposium focussed on two recently identified naturally occurring compounds found only in Manuka Honey, one discovered by Professor Yoji Kato, of the University of Hyogo, Japan, called Leptosperin and the other compound, discovered at Auckland University, called Lepteridine.
Both compounds, measured using various techniques in the lab, provide an excellent level of proof as to the authenticity of Manuka honey.
“What came out of the symposium wasn’t completely new to us,” says Mr Jeffery. “As licence holders we’ve been receiving updates and access to the science throughout the process.
“The Leptosperin testing was implemented about 12 months ago and as soon as that was available we began testing for its levels in our product. We’re pleased to say that our SummerGlow Manuka Honey has a high level of Leptosperin significantly exceeding the requirements.
The way forward with proving to our customers the authenticity of our honey involves testing for all the compounds unique to Manuka honey. We provide these results in the form of a lab test report with every jar. The more compounds you test for, the more confident one can be as to the purity and quality of the honey.
“As always, the most important thing is to ensure all SummerGlow customers always get a genuine UMF product.”