the definition of delicious: mpi releases its test for manuka honey

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has recently released a science-based definition for identifying New Zealand Manuka honey, from the results of its science programme.

The programme found that five attributes – when identified together, at specified levels – clearly show that the honey is the real deal – authentic New Zealand Manuka honey. Unless the honey meets all five attributes, it’s not monofloral Manuka honey. But it may still pass the test for multifloral Manuka honey.

MPI proposes implementing the definition through a General Requirement for Export Notice (GREX) under the Animal Products Act 1999. The draft GREX is also designed to improve traceability, and make the food standards around honey clearer.

MPI is calling for feedback and consultation on both its definition and the new export requirements. During the consultation period (until Tuesday 23 May 2017 at 5:00pm) the Ministry is holding workshops around the country, posting locations, dates and times on the MPI website, in local papers and on social media. Three independent experts from New Zealand, Australia and Canada have already peer reviewed key aspects of the MPI science programme.

The Ministry will consider submissions and feedback before issuing the GREX – letting the apiculture industry and the public have their say. The aim is to bring in the new regulations in late July 2017.

MPI has been working with local labs, so they can be ready to provide consistent, accurate Manuka honey test results for the four chemical markers and one DNA marker. Analytica Laboratories (where we test our Manuka honey) has gained MPI Limited Recognition to start testing for Manuka honey chemical markers as per the MPI definition. DNA testing will be carried out by Hill Laboratories.

The True Honey Co. is thrilled that the Ministry has made this progress and we wholeheartedly support its initiatives to make sure our industry is authentic for consumers, sustainable for the environment and ethical for all of us. As a company that proudly stands behind every jar, we can’t wait to try out the new test.

Like to know more? Visit the dedicated MPI Manuka honey page for the Science Summary Report, the draft GREX, and the discussion document.

Manuka Honey Science definition