Honey Wars

claims have put them on a collision course with Kiwi manuka honey producers.

Research just published by Oz Honey Project research team member Nural Cokcetin from the University of Technology Sydney claimed 16 per cent of Australian manuka-style honeys were more powerful than Kiwi manuka honey.

The research has angered John Rawcliffe from the UMF Association here in New Zealand. He said it focused on methylglyoxal content of the honeys, but methylglyoxal was only one of the components that contributed to Manuka honey’s medicinal qualities.

“Honey comes from a plant, from a soil, from an environment,” Rawcliffe said. “There is more to this honey than methylglyoxal.”

Scientists here had shown over 200 different chemical compounds in Manuka honey, he said.

Rawcliffe was not surprised to see the Oz Honey Project, which is funded by the Australian government, following the New Zealand blueprint for science-led product verification.

But he was critical of the Australian attempt at “staking a claim to the manuka honey name.”

“They persist in riding on the coat tails of a product that is unique to New Zealand and viewed as such by consumers worldwide,” Rawcliffe said.

Warring among manuka producers in New Zealand was now over, and the newly-created Manuka Honey Appellation Society had launched an action in Australia to prevent Australian producers using the word manuka in their branding.