UMF Grading System

Mānuka Honey is highly valued by the consumer and those that are licensed to use the quality mark. The UMF® quality mark is registered in all key consumer markets.

Why was the UMFHA established?

UMFHA is an independent body found only in New Zealand that was founded in 1998 to identify and differentiate the unique properties of Manuka Honey. Its goal is to protect New Zealand’s Manuka honey industry and it’s consumers. UMF® is the most widely recognized standard globally and the only association that actively tests its member’s honey to ensure what is being sold is as labelled. They also fund scientific research and continue to add to the knowledge around Manuka honey.

UMF Manuka Honey label

UMF Grading System


The UMF grading system has two components which are expressed on any UMF honey product


The label claim that it is genuine Mānuka Honey.


This represents the unique signature compounds characteristic of this honey which ensure purity and quality. These include: the key markers of Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal.。

UMF Quality is more than just a number

Antibacterial Activity Explained – MGO/NPA Mānuka honey conversion

 All honey has antibacterial activity due to what is commonly called Peroxide Activity (PA). However, Mānuka Honey has a special, unique antibacterial activity called Non-Peroxide activity (NPA).

People are often interested in the anti-bacterial activity of Mānuka honey.

Research has shown that NPA is very stable in Mānuka Honey even when it is exposed to light and heat.

We know that there is a direct relationship between NPA (antibacterial activity) and the level of Methylglyoxal (MGO) which is a key signature marker found in Mānuka honey. However, while there is a relationship between the two, MGO is not the sole cause of NPA in Mānuka Honey..

The UMFHA has developed internationally recognized testing procedures to confirm the presence of key signature markers – MGO, Leptosperin and DHA – found in genuine, pure, quality Mānuka honey from New Zealand.


Corrigendum to ‘Isolation by HPLC and characterization of the bioactive fraction of New Zealand manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honey’ [Carbohydr. Res. 343 (2008) 651]. Christopher. J. Adams, Cherie H. Boult, Benjamin J. Deadman, Judie M. Farr, Megan N. C. Grainger, Merilyn Manley-Harris *, Melanie J. Snow