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New Manuka Honey Research Adds Clarity For Consumers

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Comvita today released scientific findings from a research project of considerable importance for consumers and New Zealand's $100 million Manuka Honey industry.

Comvita's research, conducted in association with the University of Auckland and Hill Laboratories and published this week by Food Chemistry (Elsevier Ltd), is the culmination of a year-long, intense scientific trial investigation of the bioactivity of Manuka Honey.

The research revealed: A clear methodology for differentiating honey types and of guaranteeing the proof of origin and purity of Manuka honey.

Nectar testing which indisputably connects the plant to the honey.

That there are multiple compounds that together, contribute to the unique therapeutic properties of UMF Manuka honey.

That the research results make it possible to detect any manipulation of the honey by heating or adulteration because the compounds act as a bio-chemical fingerprint.

Comvita Chief Technical Officer, Dr. Ralf Schlothauer, says using Nectar Testing to trace the bioactive compounds from the nectar to the Manuka Honey on the shelf is a considerable step forward in ensuring the consumer is buying what they believe.

"This is important because bioactive compounds are ultimately from the nectar collected by the bees."

The real story behind UMF Manuka honey is incredibly complex and rich, Dr. Schlothauer says. He likens it to an unravelling mystery, as this, the first in a series of research papers, confirms.

Dr. Schlothauer says the Comvita Science team has a number of ongoing scientific trials and research projects underway, focussed on Manuka honey, with a network of New Zealand and international partners.

Comvita recently partnered with the University of Auckland in the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB) as a 'co-locator'. Having Comvita scientist, Dr. Jonathan Stephens based at the Institute, enables world-class research through collaboration between the University and industry with the aim of building the New Zealand economy through biotechnology.

Manuka honey has amazing potential for human health, say Dr. Schlothauer.

"Comvita is resolutely committed to working openly and collaboratively with all industry stakeholders to establish a set of common standards based on solid science. Ongoing research will play a vital role in helping the industry provide consumers with the confidence that they are getting the very best product possible."

Link to research paper: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.09.074

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