Manuka Honey Basics

Manuka honey is receiving increasing attention in the marketplace, so learn what the buzz is about because this is not your typical honey. From its origins to its flavor, this type of honey is unique.

Manufacturers have begun offering manuka in its raw form and as an ingredient in soap, cream, and even lozenges. Learn about this substance that has been around for years but has been a well-kept secret...until now.

What Is Manuka Honey?

Manuka gets its name from the tree that yields its nectar. This monofloral honey is produced by European honey bees who feed on the manuka tree, also called the tea tree. This attractive tree is indigenous to New Zealand and southeastern Australia, where it grows uncultivated.

When the tree flowers, the bees pollinate it and produce a honey that is relatively dark, rich, and has an intense flavor that resembles that of other products derived from the tea tree.

Consumers may see manuka labeled as UMF honey, with UMF referring to Unique Manuka Factor. The UMF scale was created by New Zealand researcher Peter Molan to rank the potency of the honey. Manuka has a relatively higher level of a substance called methylglyoxal, or MGO, and UMF is used to rank its relative strength. When its UMF is ten or higher, the honey is considered “active” and may be labeled as such.

Characteristics of Raw Manuka Honey

Many people enjoy the taste of honey and find the manuka version very satisfying. Its strong flavor makes manuka the perfect sweetener for a variety of foods. The flavor has been described as herbaceous, earthy, florid, and complex. Within the industry, it is characterized as having a mineral and slightly bitter flavor or as heather-like with an aromatic scent. Manuka must be tasted in order to be described properly because it is unlike other honeys.

This substance is a popular table honey in its native New Zealand, where an entire industry has arisen around its production. It is sold plain, blended with cinnamon, or with fruit additives including apricots and strawberries. One version is enriched with two other byproducts of honeybees, royal jelly and propolis. People enjoy all varieties of manuka by the teaspoonful with their meals and many use it as a sweetener in their tea.

Where To Buy Manuka Honey

Consumers who live in New Zealand need not look far for this honey because it is sold in food markets. Residents of other countries can purchase this honey online. They should look for raw manuka honey in its active form and shop only with a trusted seller with a good reputation and known brand. Much due dilligence can be done online and buy looking up testimonials, references, and social media to become familiar with a brand.

To see what everyone is buzzing about, try manuka honey today. New Zealanders have been enjoying it for decades and their secret is now out. The unique color and flavor make this rare honey even more appealing. Thanks to the Internet, consumers from all over the world can enjoy the pride and joy of New Zealand.

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