There are several different ways the relative strength of manuka honey can be measured.
The Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating is the most established and internationally recognized of the grading systems for the antibacterial efficacy of Manuka Honey. Labelling Manuka Honey with the UMF grade can only be used by licensed UMF association members who meet the auditing and monitoring standards to ensure that the honey is natural, unadulterated, and is true-to-label claims.
The UMF test measures three key markers, Leptosperin, DHA and methygloxal and compares the relative antibacterial effectiveness of the honey to phenol, a disinfectant.
Beware that some manuka honey brands use numbers that look similar to the UMF scale but are not measured the same way and so can be difficult to compare. If the number is between 5 and 24 look for the UMF symbol or the words UMF.
In more recent years, methylgloxal (MG) has been found to be the most active ingredient of the three key markers measured in the UMF rating system and so measuring how much methylgloxal is present in 1 kilogram of honey is another way to measure the antibacterial effectiveness. These numbers will tend to range between 80 and 830.
While both grading systems are valid measures of antibacterial efficacy they can be difficult to compare with each other so we've made this handy calculator to help you understand how the two systems match up.
Slide the dot along the line to see equivalent UMF to MGO values.
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