What Grade of Mānuka Honey is Best?

September, 2022

Mānuka Honey is a rare New Zealand honey coveted by honey lovers around the world. It comes from the nectar of the native New Zealand Mānuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) that flowers for just a few weeks in summer each year.

It contains a highly potent compound called Methylglyoxal, or MG, which has been scientifically proven to be responsible for the extraordinary properties found in Mānuka honey. 

The New Zealand standard for meeting the requirements for Mānuka Honey organic certification is extremely high. 

Out of 6735 registered beekeepers in New Zealand, just nine are registered and organically certified and TranzAlpine Honey is one of them. That is only 0.14%!

Organic certification accreditation involves a stringent, independent auditing process annually as well as MPI, IANZ accredited laboratory and BioGro™ NZ testing for every batch.

We love that we can share our organic honey with you. 

Honey lovers around the world enjoy our products, knowing that they’re certified organic, produced sustainably and simply healthy, great-tasting honey.

Not all Mānuka honey is equal

Mānuka honey is totally unique per batch. Like wine, every season produces a different harvest, the success of which is dependent on things like the weather conditions, bee health, and other variables.

If the weather is warm and conditions are right, the Mānuka flowers bloom in abundance and the bees can visit the trees to collect nectar without hindrance.

If there are strong winds, torrential rain or bad weather it can reduce or damage the number of blooming flowers and access for the bees to the trees.

The levels of methylglyoxal or MG/MGO, which is the bioactive compound that gives Mānuka honey, its exceptional antioxidant properties can vary greatly from batch to batch.

How is Methylglyoxal formed?

MGO is formed in the honey from Mānuka nectar. As the honey ripens, the MGO content can increase. This requires expert knowledge and careful storage, along with precise testing to ensure the potency, quality and purity of the honey.

Every jar of our Mānuka honey is tested and certified for natural MGO content. The MGO number tells you the level of MGO in your jar of Mānuka honey, which is directly related to its potency.

What is the MG/MGO rating?

The MG number on each jar tells you how much methylglyoxal per kg is in your jar of Mānuka honey. 

Our certified Mānuka honey ranges from MG 50+ right up to MG 650+. That number has the potential to go up every year when we test the new Mānuka honey harvest.

Mono-floral honey is a lot more potent than multi-floral honey, when it comes to Mānuka honey, the levels between multi-floral (multiple nectar sources) and mono-floral (a single nectar source) are significant.

MPI uses DNA markers in their testing to determine the authenticity of any NZ Mānuka honey and identifies whether it is a mono-floral or multi-floral source. 

Is MG/MGO rating the same as UMF?

Both MG and UMF are trusted Mānuka honey grading systems and both measure methylglyoxal content. Testing for MGO levels is important, as they can vary greatly from season to season.

The MG Mānuka Honey grading system is a precise and reliable test that simply and directly reflects the MGO content of the honey. The higher the MGO content, the higher the grade of honey.

You can use this chart to see how UMF and MG line up. 

UMF 5+ MG 83

UMF 10+ MG 263

UMF 12+ MG 354

UMF 15+ MG 514

UMF 18+ MG 692

UMF 20+ MG 826

Read more about the MGO Ratings and the New Zealand Government’s Science Definition here.

Which grade of Mānuka honey is best?

Monofloral Mānuka honey with the highest MG ratings is the same type used in hospitals as medical grade Mānuka. It has the most powerful antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial properties out of all the honey grades and can heal wounds as well as being resistant to antibiotics, giving it the ability to fight off serious infection. 

Medical grade Mānuka honey is not typically sold as everyday eating honey, it is a highly purified medicinal honey that is used as a topical application. 

Monofloral Mānuka honey with high levels of MG – approximately MG 300 + and higher, is used for health and wellbeing products as well as skincare.

Multi and monofloral Mānuka honey with levels of MG 50 + – MG300+ are perfect as everyday honey. They still have the same powerful antioxidant and health properties as the higher grades, but are much more affordable than the pricier higher grades. So they are good for your health and your wallet.

Buy TranzAlpine Organic Mānuka Honey

You can buy any of our organic Mānuka honey products online from our store – we ship worldwide. 

Find a jar of TranzAlpine Honey near you in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world.

If you are in the US, you can find our honey products in over 90 stores and counting nationwide.

You can also save up to 30% when you purchase an organic honey subscription – never run out of your favourite honey again!

TranzAlpine Honey from the New Zealand Alps to the world.