In the mid-90s, research was undertaken at Waikato University (NZ) to characterise a previously undescribed property found in a specific native New Zealand Honey. Some samples of this honey were observed to be antibacterial and antimicrobial. Potentially harmful bacteria and microbes would die after coming in contact with the honey.
The only honey found to have these properties came from areas where the bees collected nectar from the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium).
The Manuka used in our honey is a native species which only grows in New Zealand. It is an evergreen shrub-type tree with small white and occasionally pink flowers.
In May 1998, Dr Peter Molan, the lead researcher who discovered ‘Non-Peroxide Activity’ (NPA) in Mānuka honey, proposed a name change from NPA to ‘Unique Mānuka Factor’ or UMF® to better describe the Mānuka honeys activity.
The Active Mānuka Honey Association (AMHA) registered UMF as a trademark and set down strict rules relating to its use. These rules served to protect the consumer and provide a guarantee that product was true to label. The only companies certified to use the UMF trademark are AMHA members.
In 2012, AMHA changed its name to the Unique Mānuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA). This was done to better reflect the function of the group.
Only Mānuka honey labelled with the official UMFHA trade mark gives the independent guarantee of quality.
There are a number of peer-reviewed essays, including newly emerging work focused on determining what Mānuka is, that is available to the consumers to verify the provenance of this distinctive product.
The UMF Grading System
(official source: http://www.umf.org.nz/grading-system )
The UMF rating is a measure of the attributes and values that make up Mānuka honey, and assures purity & quality.
To receive a UMF grading, a honey must have the presence of DHA (dihydroxyacetone), Methylglyoxal (MGO or MG), and Leptosperin. The UMF rating is a measure of the attributes and values that make up Mānuka honey, and assures purity & quality.
The parent company of Mānuka South, The New Zealand Health Food Company, is a registered member of UMFHA (License Holder # 1053)