MGO and UMF Honey for medicinal use and well-being

by Manuka Honey Team February 26, 2020 3 min read

How to choose Manuka Honey

How to choose Manuka Honey

Choosing the best Manuka Honey can be confusing. There are so many Manuka Honey products on the market to choose from.  We can see the questions running through your mind. Should I choose MGO or UMF? What do the MGO and UMF numbers mean? Does it matter how much MGO or UMF they contain? What else is on the label that I need to know about? If you’re having problems choosing the right Manuka Honey, we’ve come up with one simple question to answer that makes your choice easier.

What are you using your Manuka Honey for?

If you’re looking for the delicious sweetness of Manuka Honey in a cup of tea or on a slice of hot toast, then simply choose whichever Manuka Honey takes your fancy.  If you’re looking for a simple but luxurious daily beauty treatment, then make the choice from this amazing range of products.

If you’re choosing Manuka Honey for other reasons, it’s worth taking more notice of what’s on the label. Choosing a “therapeutic grade” Manuka Honey might be what you’re looking for.

Levels of 10+ UMF and MGO 250+ are considered to be “therapeutic quality”.

Let’s just stop here for a moment and talk about UMF, MGO and other grading systems you find on Manuka Honey labels.

Before scientists worked out exactly what it was in Manuka Honey that made it so special, they identified this special something as Unique Manuka Factor or UMF. UMF-graded Honey is tested to rigorous standards, including the amount of leptosperin, methylglyoxal, DHA and HMF, which show that the Honey is pure Manuka Honey. 

Later on, they discovered a compound called Methylglyoxal (MG or MGO) which is unique to Manuka Honey and responsible for much of the properties attributed to Manuka Honey.

There are two other classifications that you might find on Manuka Honey

KFactor™ and Bio Active are two less common classifications of Manuka Honey.

The KFactor™ grade assures you that the Honey is raw and unpasteurised, non-GMO, originates from New Zealand and doesn’t contain antibiotics, glyphosate and pesticides. KFactor 16 indicates Manuka Honey that is ‘wholly or mostly’ from Leptospermum scoparium (the Manuka tree). KFactor 12 shows it’s a multi-floral Manuka Honey (may contain Honey from other plants) but has a significant amount of Honey from the Manuka trees.

The ‘bioactive’ label measures the ‘activity’ of the honey based on peroxide and non-peroxide activity. This may give an idea of quality, but as levels of peroxide and non-peroxide activity are affected by sunlight and heat, it may not be an accurate way to grade Manuka Honey.

Our advice to help you choose Manuka Honey

If you’re looking to choose a Manuka Honey as a super-food, choose products
according to their UMF or MGO rating.

Choose UMF 10+ or MGO 250+.

Here’s how the UMF and MGO ratings line up

Select your Manuka Honey products now

What else to think about when choosing Manuka Honey

  • Do you want organic Manuka Honey products? Organic products are free from any synthetic additives. They’re grown under conditions that avoid the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators, GMOs, and feed additives. We’ve gathered a range of both certified and non-certified organic Manuka Honey products for you to choose from. 
  •  Are you buying it for yourself or for a gift? There’s something uniquely special about Manuka Honey that makes it the perfect gift for family and friends or in a corporate gift pack. We’ve made the choice of Manuka Honey products easy for you by creating product categories for gift ideas and gift baskets.
  • Is it really New Zealand Manuka Honey? All our Manuka Honey is sourced from New Zealand. After all, the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium, the New Zealand tea tree) is a New Zealand native. There are small amounts of tea tree Honey produced in Australia, and some Honey has been claimed to be Manuka Honey when on testing, it was found not to be. Always check for the ‘Made in New Zealand’/’Product of New Zealand’ statement or the New Zealand Fern Mark symbol.

We hope this has made it easier for you to make your choice from the hundreds of Manuka Honey products we have gathered from all over New Zealand for you. 

If you’re not a convert yet, learn more about what makes Manuka Honey so special.


Select your Manuka honey products now