Want to know more?
What is Manuka honey and how is it made?
Manuka honey is named after the species of tree which bees forage and collect nectar and pollen from; this tree is called Manuka (from the Leptospermum genus within the Myrtaceae Family) and can be found all over Australia and New Zealand.
Honey produced from Manuka trees varies in colour, thickness and flavour, while still retaining its renowned therapeutic benefits. These antibacterial Manuka honeys are tested using analytical methods to show the presence of antibacterial properties:
NPA – Non Peroxide Activity
MGO – Methylglyoxal
What is active honey and what makes it 'active'?
Active honey is honey that has been tested and proven to contain bioactive compounds. One of the most commonly known ‘active honey’ is Manuka – containing the bioactive compound, methylglyoxal, which is a naturally occurring property.
Does Medi Manuka Honey contain added sugar?
No. Medi Manuka Honey does not contain added sugars, such as cane sugar, rice syrup, sugar beet syrup, corn syrup or any other sweetening additives.
Manuka honey may appear to have candy-like texture and solidify over time – this is a naturally-occurring process.
What is Raw Honey?
Raw honey comes directly from the hives and has minimal processing. It is honey in its truest form: honey is taken directly from the honeycomb, obtained by extraction, then settled or strained without adding heat. The minimal processing of raw honey ensures that it still contains the valuable properties of natural bee honey.
Our Medi Manuka Honey is not adulterated by the addition of other ingredients or substances and not altered in any way, at any stage of the honey extraction operation. Our honey is cold-extracted and unpasteurised (usually on warm days – the old-fashioned way), offering you only the highest-quality, pure Australian Manuka honey available.
Is raw honey the same as unprocessed honey?
Unprocessed or unpasteurised honey is essentially raw honey in its purest form. Raw honey or unprocessed honey is taken directly from the honeycomb and is likely to contain pollen grains, wax and propolis.
How do I know if honey is ‘Raw Honey’ or not?
Compared to commercially produced honey, Australian raw honey may have a slightly cloudy appearance as it contains fine-textured crystals, particles of honeycomb and flecks of pollen. Over time, raw honey may start to cloud and crystalise gaining a more granular texture which many people prefer; however, it won’t change the flavour or nutritional value.
Depending on the variety (the species of tree the nectar was predominantly sourced from) of honey – raw honey may begin to crystalise during storage in the pantry. Some will begin to crystalise within weeks, like the Yapunya or Canola varieties; others may take months (Macadamia or Tea Tree) or even years (Yellow Box and many Eucalypts).
Which species of Leptospermum spp. does Medi Manuka Honey come from?
Our Medi Manuka Honey is a locally varying mix of several native Leptospermum honey:
- Leptospermum Polygalifolium (Active)
- Leptospermum Liversidgeii (Active)
- Leptospermum Juniperium (Active)
- Leptospermum Whiteii (Active)
- Leptospermum Petersonii (Active)
- Leptospermum Laevigatum (Considered Inactive)
- Leptospermum Trinervium (Considered Inactive)
- Leptospermum Semibacattum (Considered Inactive)
Where is our Medi Manuka Honey produced?
Our Manuka honey is produced in a Pristine mountain Village on the east coast of New South Wales, by the wonderful apiarist Peter, where the honey is extracted, then hand bottled and hand packed for us so you can experience our 100% Australian Made Manuka Honey. Our Bio-Active Manuka Honey is produced by bees foraging sustainably on Pristine Local Coastal Heath, collecting nectar and pollen from Native Australian Leptospermum plant species.
What Strength Manuka do you produce?
|MGO Level||MGO Content (mg/kg)||NPA Level||UMF / ULF Rating|
|100+||> 100 ppm||5+||5+|
|263+||> 263 ppm||10+||10+|
|400+||> 400 ppm||13+||13+|
|550+||> 550 ppm||15+||15+|
|800+||> 800 ppm||20+||20+|
MGO100+ “NPA5+” has methylglyoxal levels of > 100 ppm (Mg/Kg) and is equivalent to “UMF 5+” or “ULF 5+” ratings.
MGO263+ “NPA10+” has methylglyoxal levels of > 263 ppm (Mg/Kg) and is equivalent to “UMF 10+” or “ULF 10+” ratings.
MGO400+ “NPA13+” has methylglyoxal levels of > 400 ppm (Mg/Kg) and is equivalent to “UMF 13+” or “ULF 13+” ratings.
MGO550+ “NPA15+” has methylglyoxal levels of > 550 ppm (Mg/Kg) and is equivalent to “UMF 15+” or “ULF 15+” ratings.
MGO800+ “NPA20+” has methylglyoxal levels of > 800 ppm (Mg/Kg) and is equivalent to “UMF 20+” or “ULF 20+” ratings.
Is all of your Medi Manuka Honey tested for MGO content by independent laboratories?
Yes! We send all of our honey to the University of Sunshine Coast Honey Laboratory – a world-leading, Manuka honey research lab. Our honey is tested for MGO (methylglyoxal), DHA (dihydroxyacetone) and HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural) concentrations by world leading laboratory staff. All our Medi Manuka Honey is tested using the HPLC technique in NATA-accredited laboratories by independent scientists.
You can be certain that the honey you receive is always as strong as the label states – we guarantee it!
We also keep laboratory-issued Test Certificates for every batch we produce which can be used to track the provenance of every jar right back to the apiary of production.
Why has my honey gone all lumpy?
Candying or crystallisation of honey is a natural process relating to the characteristics of different kinds of honey. The natural glucose found in honey can form a structural lattice, which turns the liquid form of honey to a semi-solid state. As honey is a natural product – it will sometimes crystallise; this is not an indication that it is off, out-of-date or of low quality. Honey can last for many, many years if stored properly in an airtight container.
Why does honey crystalise?
The crystallisation phenomenon has no bearing on the honey’s quality. Honey is a pure and natural product and if it is raw and unheated: honey has a natural tendency to crystallise over time.
The Science Behind Honey Crystallisation
The average composition of Australian honey produced from native and exotic floral species is as follows:
- Fructose 44%
- Glucose 35%
- Moisture 17%
- Sucrose 3%
- Other less than 1%
Australian honey is made of (on average) over 80% sugar which is a lot of sugar in very little water, making the solution unstable. Yet, this is the very reason why honey does not spoil as the water content is not high enough to start the fermentation process.
Glucose being less soluble than fructose is the crystallisation “starter” but other factors such as pollen or propolis in the honey (which act as a platform for the glucose crystals to start forming on them) as well as cooler temperatures can help speed up the process.
The higher the glucose to fructose ratio – the faster the honey will crystallise. This ratio depends on the type of nectar the bees were feeding on, different flowers will produce a different ratio. Sometimes it happens in the combs themselves before the beekeeper even extracts it and some varieties take an extremely long time to crystallise.
The common misconception, however, is that honey that crystallises comes from feeding the bees sugar syrup or from adulterating honey with corn syrup. In fact, the opposite is true: processed or adulterated/diluted honey does not crystallise.
Heated up/adulterated honey can look appealing on the shelf for a very long time – just the way consumers have been brainwashed to like things (pretty perfect lemons, straight-same-thickness carrots etc) but it doesn’t come without a cost.
Heat causes the destruction of enzymes and as well as the loss of aroma and flavour. It also increases the content of the undesirable compound HMF (hydroxymethylfurfural). Fresh, natural honey can have varying levels of HMF (usually below one mg per kg in the hive) but the levels soon start to rise with ambient temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius.
The International Food Standards requires that the HMF content of honey after processing or blending shall not be more than 40mg per kg.
Read our next FAQ point for what to do next when your honey has crystallised …
What do you do with honey that has crystallised?
So, now that we know honey that crystallises is good for you, what do you do with it?
For starters, plenty of people like the texture and the fact that it does not drip everywhere when you put it on toast. If you are using honey in your tea or coffee – no problem: it will dissolve in the hot liquid. Same thing if you are using it for baking or in marinades for your meat/fish.
If you want a more liquid-like texture: put your jar in a bowl of warm water (around 40C’) and let it sit there for a while. You might need to do this a couple of times to get to your desired consistency. It may be tempting to put your honey in the microwave to speed up the process but doing so will tamper with all the goodness of your honey.
Can children and babies eat raw honey?
No. This is because raw honey is not pasteurised. There is a small risk that infants under 12 months may be susceptible to infant botulism as their digestive system may not yet be able to combat botulism spores that may be in the honey naturally. However, older children and adults do not need to worry about this.