Manuka Honey Rating System - What does UMF + 10 mean?

UMF is a rating system that measures the antibacterial potency of Manuka Honey. UMF is a registered trademark of the New Zealand bases Active Manuka Honey Association. UMF is an acronym for Unique Manuka Factor, the antibacterial properties in active Manuka honey which are responsible for naturally destroying bacteria. All types of honey are known for their hydrogen peroxide activity which is also responsible for antibacterial properties. But the non-peroxide activity found in active Manuka honey is many times more potent. Furthermore is it resistant when exposed to heat and light and has a synergistic antibacterial effect with the hydrogen peroxide activity in Manuka Honey.

Certified active UMF Manuka Honey is tested and rated for its antibacterial potency. The higher the UMF rating, the higher the antibacterial activity. The minimum qualification for using the name UMF® and to be suitable for treating infections is a UMF 10+ rating. It doesn't seem to be that the higher the rating the better the honey.

Manuka honey with a rating of 10+ already is a highly active honey. According to Elaine Kleiner from Manuka Honey USA having a 12, 14 or 16+ honey doesn't make that much of a difference. Because some people have experienced sensitivity like burning or stinging sensations to Manuka honey with a high UMF rating of 20-30 the optimal rating for therapeutic use is between 10 and 18. Others say the best results for medicinal use are gained with a UMF factor of 16+ to 18+.

UMF ratings vary every year. This year's rating of UMF 19.8 is the highest rating ever in 10 years!

Many manufacturers of so called Manuka honey products put the term 'Active' on their labels. But this is no guarantee. Emblematic for the confusion that has been created the last years is the fact that the best selling Manuka honeys on Amazon are not UMF certified. If you buy Manuka honey be sure it says UMF on the label and the product has a rating of UMF® 10 or more to be assured of the quality standards it is required.


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