bee keeping

UMF, NPA & MGO, what are the differences?

These are often a confusing jargon that you see in Manuka honey labels. So what are they? Let’s begin with UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor. According to the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association, the quality of Manuka can be determined by the presence of unique compounds known as Leptosperin, DHA and Methylglyoxal. 


The MGO grading system is managed by Manuka Health New Zealand Limited. It measures the amount of Methylglyoxal (MGO) compound in the Manuka honey. The concept is similar to UMF, the higher the compound of MGO, the better the purity and quality of the Manuka honey. 


Non peroxide activity (NPA) measures the amount of special antiseptic properties. The key point is that every kind of honey has some sort of antimicrobial qualities. The NPA that gives Manuka honey the special feature comes from the content of Methylglyoxal (MGO) which again is known for its antibacterial properties. The rating is similar to UMF, essentially, the higher the numbers the better the quality.


Another great example will be referring to the diagram below. 


5+ 5+ 83+ Suitable for general Well being
6+ 6+ 100+ A tone higher, suitable for general Well being
10+ 10+ 263+ Minimal activity with medicinal usage
15+ 15+ 514+ Potent activity that is great to aid digestive health and skin health
20+ 20+ 829+ Premium level of activity with strong dosage of medicinal usage. Great for wound and oral care.
microscope in laboratory

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