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Why Mānuka Honey Is So Expensive ?

by Rebekah Wagener

By Rebekah WagenerPublished 27 days ago 3 min read
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Why Mānuka Honey Is So Expensive ?
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Manuka honey is expensive because this isn't just any old honey it's manuka honey and in its purest form it can cost up to 99 per 100 grams that's more than a hundred times the price of normal honey so why is it so expensive [Music] Manuka Honey is known for being earthier richer and more viscous than many other Honeys it comes from the nectar of the flower leptospermum scaparium also known as Manuka which is only native to New Zealand a manuka in fact is a Maori word foreign the fact that it comes from New Zealand that gives it a premium just to start with and because the bee travels up to about six kilometers to collect this honey and so this honey is representative of the environment and that environment is of New Zealand the plant itself and the Honey is very very rare out of all the Honeys in the world it probably represents one percent of all the world honeys it's difficult to harvest it's only a two to six week harvesting period and the flower is only open for any for 12 days and in New Zealand we have wind and we have rain and all the rest of it so there's a lot of luck involved in getting the bee or a lot of effort from The Beekeeper and for some years there are no there is no honey production for some beekeepers and we have to go to the big extent also using helicopters to collect this honey although Manuka bushes can also be found in Australia New Zealand accounts for almost all of the world's production with exports worth 204 million dollars and expected to quadruple to 800 Million by 2028. New Zealand's honey is protected by a quality standard that safeguards manuka's special properties honey is an expensive honey and anything that is expensive people will try and copy people will try and mimic or people will try and cheat so a lot of the cost here isn't actually in the protection of it all the research so we know it's Unique we know it's from New Zealand we can identify it we've fought labs around the world to be able to do this identification the New Zealand government has set up a standard to say what is manogani so how does the grading system work and what exactly are you looking for in Manuka Honey we spoke to Dr Adrian Charlton from ferriscience a lab in the north of England where Manuka Honey is tested to identify its unique compounds as standard we will test for three compounds dihydroxyacetone which is known as DHA methylglooxal known as MGO and hydroxy methylferol HMF these are the basic tests that we we would undertake to make sure that Manuka Honey contains the antimicrobial characteristics that the consumer would expect we could detect them but we can also measure the concentration of them and that's done using UV light to detect a particular wavelength the individual compounds each compound has slightly different properties but because of the issues in the past with potential fraud there's a suite of other tests including test stress compounds such as leptosparin which is a marker that's unique to the nectar of leptospin and scaparium we can trace then the honey back to its its botanic Lodge in the plant that it came from the jar of Manuka Honey the markers can be confusing so how do you know that it's the real deal so in some cases they're laboring for the concentration of a compound so MGO 300 would indicate 300 milligrams of methyl in that particular pot of honey per kilogram to NPA which is non-peroxide activity now that's that's related to the methodological concentration but it's a more direct measure at the antimicrobial activity of the honey other other marks such as umf a quality mark But if you can see a particular stamp on a product that has been tested and assured to a certain standard so that's different to actually labeling it with the concentration of a particular compound another Factor that's driving up the price is the use of Manuka honey in health and beauty products it's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are said to soothe and nourish the skin and it's also said to help with blemishes and acne.

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Rebekah Wagener

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