The Non-Peroxide Activity of Manuka Honey

A discrepancy in the way Manuka honey’s potency is measured has consumers concerned that they may not be getting their money’s worth.
By: Frank Buonanotte
Nov. 30, 2011 - PRLog -- All types of honey have the ability to produce hydrogen peroxide which accounts for a portion of its healing qualities.  Manuka honey from New Zealand is superior over other types of honey because, in addition to its ability to produce hydrogen peroxide, it also has a non-peroxide activity which researchers believe has a synergistic action in providing optimal healing benefits.

When researchers began to recognize Manuka honey’s additional healing components, they started measuring the non-peroxide activity comparing it to a solution with the same percentage of phenol.  For example, Manuka honey with the non-peroxide activity of 15 has the same antibacterial potency as a solution that is 15% phenol.

Very often the number that represents the non-peroxide activity of Manuka honey is followed by a plus sign (+).  This is because the antibacterial potency of Manuka honey has a tendency to naturally increase over time.  For example, Manuka honey that is labeled as a 10+ had a non-peroxide activity of 10 at the time it was tested but it could be higher depending on how long after testing the honey is used.  It could have potentially increased to a 15+.

There have been some trademarks that have evolved over the course of time that precede the number that measures the non-peroxide activity of Manuka honey (i.e. UMF).  These acronyms are less important than the actual number itself.

One disturbing practice that has evolved out of greed is companies listing the total peroxide activity on their labels.  This is misleading to consumers since the industry standard is to list the non-peroxide activity.  The total peroxide activity is the amount of both the hydrogen peroxide and non-peroxide activity.  Manuka honey with a total peroxide activity of 15 could have a non-peroxide activity of only 5.  Manuka honey NPA 5+ is not potent enough to yield the same medicinal results that people have come to expect.  Wedderspoon is notorious for indicating a number that represents the total peroxide activity, rather than the non-peroxide activity.

If you are interested in using Manuka honey for its renowned health benefits, make sure to use a reputable brand that can guarantee their honey has been laboratory tested for its phytochemical potency and the non-peroxide activity is accurately displayed on the front label.

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Source:Frank Buonanotte
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Tags:Manuka Honey, Non-peroxide Activity, Active Manuka Honey, Hydrogen Peroxide
Industry:Health, Medical
Location:Boston - Massachusetts - United States
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